Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Ex-militants training should meet manpower need - Gov.Udom Emmanuel

Governor Udom Emmanuel wants a re-appraisal of the training programme for ex-militants in the Niger Delta Region under the Presidential Amnesty Programme to enable them meet the manpower needs of the Nigerian society.

The Governor, while interacting with the Co-ordinator of the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme who called on him at Government House, Uyo, said the re-appraisal will help to sustain the scheme and properly re-integrate the ex-militants to improve their economic status.

Mr. Emmanuel regretted the inability of the training programme to address the local content demands of the Nigerian society especially in the oil-bearing communities, noting that the trainees find it hard to fit into the available opportunities in the oil industry.

As a practical step towards re-integrating the ex-militants, the Governor stressed the need for the use of motivational talks to encourage them to earn a living rather than engage in agitations, calling on the companies operating in the coastal communities to devise modalities for dialogue in addressing issues of environmental degradation, the root cause of agitations in the Niger Delta.

 He also called for collaboration between the National Directorate of Employment and the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme for the development of the scheme and re-training of the ex-militants to meet societal needs.
The Governor, who traced the relative calm enjoyed in the area to the stipends paid to the agitators, spoke of the need to encourage the militants to earn a living rather than rely on government stipends to avoid frustration that might compel them to return to the creeks.

 Governor Emmanuel frowned at the delay in paying the welfare package of the ex-militants and said that such inconsistency in payment of the stipends account for the sporadic attacks on market women in the coastal communities, condemning the recent attempt by the agitators to blow up the Calabar-Itu Bridge.

 He endorsed the Co-ordinator’s decision to establish offices in the Niger Delta states, saying that the decision would bring about easy channeling of grievances for solutions to challenges agitating the people.  Earlier, the Co-ordinator, Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, Brigadier-General Paul Boro, had said they were in the state to seek collaboration towards the successful Disengagement, Disarmament and Reintegration of the ex-militants.
 He said the amnesty programme which was set up in 2009, has successfully disarmed 425 agitators and trained  368 in different capacities, saying that he would create additional state offices and collaborate with the military, paramilitary and other security agencies to achieve a complete reintegration of the ex-militants.

     Brigadier Boro particularly lauded the state government’s decision to create jobs through agriculture and called on other Niger Delta states to take a cue from the Akwa Ibom example.

      While commending the development strides witnessed in the state, the Amnesty Coordinator observed that the state is blessed with beautiful and natural sceneries that could be exploited for revenue generation and particularly expressed appreciation to the Governor for the reception accorded him and his team stating that his committee will collaborate with the state in it development efforts.

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