Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES)
The Youth Empowerment Scheme was launched in 2004 as a sustainable development initiative aimed at youths (18-35 years old) within NLNG's host communities. YES is designed to make the participating youths economically and socially responsible and self-reliant through guided technical and managerial development training.
Since its inception, over 700 youths from various host communities have participated in the scheme and have been supported in vocational modules namely catering and events management, hairdressing and cosmetology, fashion and design, photography and video production, woodwork and furniture making, and welding and fabrication.
However, following low success rate of trainees under this scheme, the company in 2014 reformed the implementation strategy to focus more on equipping the youths with skills in the relevant industries which will enable them to effectively compete for jobs anywhere in the world. In this, company is guided by the understanding that acquisition of vital skills that can make one secure gainful employment is the bedrock of financial independence or self-sustenance.
The Federal Government's robust automobile assembly transformation programme helped point company's attention to auto assembly as the choice industry for an initial pilot scheme. Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMCO) Enugu, a leading car assembly plant in Nigeria, subsequently emerged as the training centre of choice. 40 youths passed an entrance examination for the scheme; 38 of them from Bonny, Finima, Rumuji, Ubeta, Amadi Ama and Ogbunabali, on November 22, 2014, were enrolled into the Auto Electrical/Electronics and Auto Mechanics training programme. Plans are already in progress to improve on the scheme.
Nigeria LNG Agro Development Action (N- AGENDA)
The Nigeria LNG Agro-Enterprise Development Action was designed to enhance the revenue earning potential of rural entrepreneurs through the provision of value added agricultural and non-agricultural services – capacity building in farm management techniques, exposure to improved varieties and crops, field trips and linkage to farming institutes, and so on. Also, support packs are periodically distributed to participating farmers in the form of enhanced seedlings/stems, herbicides, and fertilizer products.
In 2014, a total of 200 fish farmers drawn from various communities were trained on new and emerging trends in aqua culture farming and management.
Since 2014, emphases shifted to commercial farming and linking the farmers to viable markets for their products. Development agencies like International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Market Development in Niger Delta (MADE), Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) and Partnership in Niger Delta Development (PIND), among others, as well as facilitators like International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAIC) were engaged as partners and coordinators in the task of empowering the subsistence farmer to effectively transition to commercial farming.
Following collaboration with these bodies, commercial and contract farming in cassava, poultry and fishing is billed to kick off in 2015 in Ekpeye, Kalabari, Ogba, Okrika, ISB/OSB, Abua, Emouha and Bonny kingdom.
Companies like Nigeria Starch Mills and Samvita have been engaged to buy off the cassava from the farmers while discussion is still on-going with TUNS Farms, a leading supplier of poultry meats to KFC, Shoprite and Master Meat for a contract for off-take of all the broilers to be produced under a new poultry out-growers' scheme.
The partners will pull resources together to ensure that the farmers achieve a high level of productivity. Demonstration farms, where best practices in the process will be taught, are proposed and this is aimed at improving the farmers' knowledge and productivity. Seedlings – particularly cassava stems – herbicides, fertilizers as well as extension services will also be provided while the farmers will be immersed in mechanized farming processes to ensure a complete break from the traditional method. The focus is to use agriculture as the new platform for employment and economic empowerment in our host communities.