NIGER DELTA: Amnesty Programme Empowers 1,453 Persons as 1135 Graduates from Local and Foreign Institutions.
By Festus Fifen.
The presidential Amnesty Programme in the Niger Delta Has empowered 1, 453 persons who were trained under the Programme with various Starter packs Including shop rentals while 966 of them were taken through refresher training Programs that will make them self sufficient and employer of labour.
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and the coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh Rtd. stated this while giving update on the activities of the Amnesty Programme to Newsmen in Abuja.
According to Paul Boroh, from 2015 to 2016, a total of 1,603 Delegates were deployed to Training Centres in the country, out of this number 1,230 of them have graduated with 196 Delegates still in training,
Speaking further on the achievement in the area of human capacity development during the period under review, Gen. Boroh said In the 2015/2016 Academic Year, the Presidential Amnesty Office deployed 1,294 delegates to various universities in the country, recording 681 graduates with 14 of them graduating First Class, and 84 Second Class Upper with the Benson Idahosa University, retaining four of such students who had First Class as Lecturers in the School.
In his words, “The performance of our students abroad was even more stunning. A total of 454 of them graduated mainly from British universities with 20 graduating First Class and 41, Second Class Upper. Also, we have ensured the effective management of our students abroad through the collaboration of the Amnesty Office and our embassies and High Commissions . This has led to remarkable reduction in our student agitations.”
” We have also domesticated most of our education and training programmes in order to ensure sustainability, development of local organisations and conservation of funds including foreign exchange.”
While commending President Buhari and acting President Yemi Osinbajo for their commitment towards the development of the Niger Delta state that Perhaps the greatest achievement of the Programme is contributing to the maintenance of peace in the Niger Delta which has resulted in zero vandalism of oil facilities.
“The winning strategy is President Buhari’s hands-on approach to the Region. The visits of the Vice President which have taken him to most Oil Producing States with the full participation of the State Governments and people, is a winning formula which has solidified the relationship between the Region and the administration.”
Speaking on ways the Programme has keyed into the economic Diversification policy of this Administration General Boroh said i
Delving in Agriculture has also been very fruitful.
” Perhaps the greatest impact we have created in the last one year is the reorientation of Beneficiaries to agriculture and aquaculture as an alternative to revamp the ailing economy. Presently, we have youths undergoing advanced agriculture technological training in these fields while various state governments in the Region have made lands available to us for extensive farming, or have promised to do so. Our Model Farming Initiative designed to provide 5,000 sustainable jobs in the Region, keys into Mr. President’s programme of creating employment and wealth through farming as well as ensuring food security in the country.”
Funding was identified as one of the challenges of the Presidential Amnesty Programme which has made it difficult to execute some of the pre planned Programmes.
“Inadequate funding has also limited the capacity of the Office to empower Delegates and exit them from the Programme.” General Boroh said.