Former agitators across Niger Delta states are urged by the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) to develop business proposals and ideas for the office to help them become successful entrepreneurs.
Over the weekend, the Interim Administrator of the amnesty programme, Col. Milland Dixon Diko (rtd), made the appeal to leaders of the first phase of the amnesty programme drawn from Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.
In a statement on Saturday, Dikio’s Special Adviser on Media, Mr Nneotaobase Egbe, said that the idea was to help ex-agitators become employers instead of being dependent on N65,000 monthly stipends.
Dikio said: “I want you to take the initiative and put forward ideas and proposals for business and let’s enable you to become successful entrepreneurs together.”. “We will organize business seminars to train and equip you to do good and legitimate business.”
“Amnesty no longer awards contracts. Unless you are planning to train, employ, and mentor our ex-agitators. That will be our new philosophy going forward.
“PAP will pay for the training, with the understanding that our people will be employed and mentored afterwards. At the end of the day, it’s a win-win for all parties involved as we adopt the Igbo apprenticeship system.
Beyond the payment of stipends, there are endless opportunities. As a people, we need to take advantage of the opportunities around us to transform our region. For instance, we can exploit our huge maritime potentials to benefit the region.
“The Niger Delta’s maritime resource is crucial to its development, and if people in the region are well trained, they can take full advantage of the opportunities that exist.
“There is no reason why you cannot form cooperatives to access loans to purchase fishing trawlers. You need to start thinking beyond N65k monthly stipends,” he said.