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About 200 beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme are currently undergoing training in Ondo State as the process of reintegration of ex-agitators in the Niger Delta gets a boost.
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo stated this yesterday in Abuja. “We have a lot of training programmes now; we have a training programme in Ondo and most parts but for me, that of Ondo is the most spectacular in the sense that we are training about 200 people and they will not just be trained, but they are going to be employed by the firm that is training them. It is an exciting example of reintegration. It only not trains you but empowers you to work, earn a living and pay taxes also”, Dokubo said in an interview with Radio Nigeria.
While noting that the Amnesty Programme was at the critical stage of reintegration of ex-agitators into the society, he said vocational centres have been set up in states across the Niger Delta to train them to become self-reliant and contribute to the development of the country.
“It is mostly about reintegration. You train people and retrain people. They must also be part of the society, the wider society that they were not part of. So, we are trying to reintegrate. We train them; we also give them jobs and make sure that they earn their own and not depend on the stipend of the Amnesty Programme, and the process has been going on very well. The vocational centres have been set up, and so we are training them with expert trainers, dealing diligently with the work they’d like to do.
The training is taking part of the work now because some people have been trained for a very long time now and they have lost the knowledge of what they have studied so what we are trying to do is to retrain them again before they are given hands-on on whatever they want to do.
We are also thinking of setting up clusters so that when you train them and they don’t have a job, they can also fend for themselves in the business clusters. We are doing that at the same time”.
He said proper training and retraining of beneficiaries of the programme was vital for their smooth reintegration into the society. “If we cannot train them, we cannot reintegrate them, if you cannot give them assistance in setting up things, they will always be dependent on the Amnesty Office. We want them to be cast out of the armpit of the Amnesty Office and have a firm hold in whatever they are doing”.
Dokubo assured of his determination to ensure the sustenance of peace and security in the Niger Delta through training and empowerment of beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme, as he spoke on his vision. “I am a new broom and I am sweeping well now; but then, the Niger Delta people will give me time to set this office in motion. I want to leave a footprint that people will say that there was a man called Charles Dokubo; he did his best for this programme”.
He listed the gains of the Amnesty Programme to include peace and security in the Niger Delta with the attendant increase in oil production and empowerment of the people in the region.