The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has appealed to the ex-agitators across Niger Delta states to develop business proposals and ideas for the office to support them to transform into successful entrepreneurs.
The Interim Administrator, of the programme, Col. Milland Dixon Diko (rtd), who made the appeal while addressing leaders of first phase of the amnesty programme drawn from Akwa Ibom and Cross River states over the weekend.
Dikio’s Special Adviser on Media, Mr Nneotaobase Egbe, said in a statement on Saturday that the idea is aide the ex-agitators not to depend on N65,000 monthly stipends anymore but became employers of labour.
Dikio said: “I want to encourage you to bring your ideas and business proposals foreword and let’s support you to become successful entrepreneurs. We will organize business seminars to train and equip you to do good and legitimate businesses.”
“We are no more giving out contracts in the Amnesty office. Unless you are going to train, employ and mentor our ex-agitators. That’s our new philosophy going forward.
“PAP will pay for the training but with the understanding that our people will be employed and mentored afterwards. We are simply adopting the Igbo apprenticeship system so that at the end of the day it’s a win-win for everybody.
“There are endless opportunities beyond the payment of stipends. 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.
“Our maritime resource is key to the development of the Niger Delta and it is one sector where people of the region can benefit substantially if they are well trained to harness the enormous opportunities therein.
“Nothing stops you from forming yourselves into cooperatives to enable you access loans to acquire fishing trawlers. It’s important that you start thinking beyond N65k monthly stipends,” he said.