By Jimitota Onoyume
THE Federal Government has commenced the first phase of training 10,000 Niger Delta youths in oil and gas pipeline surveillance and protection.
Flagging of the exercise, yesterday, with the training of 800 youths drawn from the 23 local government areas of Rivers State , at the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, orientation camp in Nowa, Tai Local Government Area, the National Chairman of the Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, HOSTCOM, Dr. Mike Emuh, said when completed it would productively engage youths of the region. He said similar exercises would also hold in Uyo and Umuahia, adding that the essence of the exercise was to ensure that youths are part of efforts to secure oil facilities in the region. His words: “This programme is to provide employment for jobless youths. President Muhammadu Buhari has graciously approved the training of 10,000 youths across the Niger Delta region. The training sessions will be coming in batches. In Rivers State, we are starting with 800 youths drawn from the 23 local government areas of the state. Other training sessions will take place in Uyo and Umuahia. The trainees will be grilled in pipeline surveillance and monitoring from vandalism and also protect the environment. ‘’In the past, pipeline surveillance was given to people that did not know the environment but this time around the host communities that know the terrain and are very familiar with the area will be involved in pipeline surveillance. This is also to give the youths responsibility to assist security agencies in the fight against oil theft and attacks on oil facilities.’’