n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Youth entrepreneurship : agenda for sustainable peace and security in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria




The oil-rich but underdeveloped Niger Delta region of Nigeria has, in recent times, become a hotbed of youth-based crime and criminality in the guise of Niger Delta struggle. This has caused untold hardship to the people of the region and indeed almost crippled the hitherto booming oil-based economy of Nigeria. The region, where poverty, degradation and unemployment are pervasive, is home to many idle youths who also lack the requisite skills and aptitude for independent living. They therefore resort to restiveness and criminality as avenues for survival, and to claim their share of the national cake - albeit illegally. To redress the situation, an articulate, institutionalised and purposeful entrepreneurial education scheme should be put in place to prepare the youth for life-long entrepreneurial skills acquisition and values re-orientation, thereby redirecting their youthful energies towards productive ventures. The article proposes a robust model that combines cognitive and non-cognitive domains with a built-in evaluation and follow-up mechanism for the programme. This programme should be effectively implemented and coordinated by tertiary institutions in the region, in collaboration with relevant agencies such as the Niger Delta Development Commission, oil companies, the government, NGOs and development partners, to bring much-desired sustainable peace and security to the region.


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