The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) said it is poised to boost the research capacity and capability of universities across the Niger Delta to find lasting solutions to peculiar health, environmental and communal issues in the region.
The Niger Delta region comprises Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers states.
The NDDC Managing Director, Dr Samuel Ogbuku, spoke amid courtesy visits by delegations from the Rivers State University and Ignatius Ajuru University of Education to the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The commission added that it would review its youth development programmes to ensure that youths of the Niger Delta become more productive in the face of modern challenges.
Worried by the lack of sustainable solutions to the health, environmental and community-based issues in the Niger Delta, the NDDC challenged universities in the region to take up solution-oriented research.
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The Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University, Prof. Nlerum Okogbule, appealed to the commission to assist the university in constructing and furnishing an Advanced Centre for Law Research.
For the NDDC boss, the interventionist agency is ready to provide the needed support to universities in the region to prioritise research that seek to provide solutions to issues plaguing the society.
Ogbuku, addressing the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, stated that the agency would review its Youth Volunteer Programme into a Youth Internship Programme, as part of efforts to discourage sedentary lifestyles among the youths of the Niger Delta region.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, Prof. Okechukwu Onuchukwu, called on the NDDC to intervene in infrastructure on the university campus.