National News

Amnesty programme will enjoy new initiatives – Coordinator

Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, has rolled out a fresh initiative to seamlessly engage beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme from training to job placement.

He said the new vision aimed at fostering peace and development in the Niger Delta region, will be through the deployment of beneficiaries on training programmes geared towards employment.

Speaking on Wednesday when the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja, Dokubo promised a remarkable transformation of the Amnesty Programme in the next few months which will trigger a new song and new dance for the Niger Delta people.

“Those of you who have been close to this programme, one thing that is different from my own is about training. I don’t just send people to train and all that. Training and vocations are linked to universities and institutions. Like the one we want to open at Ondo in the next two week, the Petroleum Training Institute(PTI), Effurrun, is going to be in charge of that training, because at the end of the training, they will have certificates.

“Also, in doing that, we are also doing job placements. We don’t just train and keep; we train and put them in work places. Trained to work, not trained to go and take stipends. That is what I am trying to do, and I believe that in the next two or three months, they will see what I’m trying to do for this office.

“I don’t want to impress on the pages of newspapers; I want facts on the ground, and once we can create that synergy between training and work placement, I think we are going to sing a new song and dance a new dance, and that is what I am going to do. And I believe everybody will like it. I don’t want to train people and they will go back and be expecting N65, 000,” Dokubo noted.

He said the Niger Delta region and the nation will gain from creating a synergy between training and job placement for beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.

“As you are trained and given a job, the benefit to society is that you also pay tax, and as you pay tax, it is also coming back to the community.”

Dokubo hinted on a new approach for scholarship awards to beneficiaries of the Programme.

“I am also looking at things that have not been looked at before, where our people have good first degrees, I can send them to wherever, to go and do a Masters programme. It is what I have mandated my office to do. If we don’t use this office well, who will do it? That is why I say the success of this programme is in our hands; if we cannot do all these things I have mentioned, then, we are in trouble. I want you to go back home fully relaxed, that this man that you have met will always open doors for you and that I will make it in my schedule that there will be a particular day every month where we can meet like this.”

He urged Niger Delta youths to close ranks and work towards actualizing a common vision, stressing that without unity there cannot be development in the region.

“There is no better forum like the IYC, and also if there are factions, bring them in, so that we can talk with one voice, because when we have conflicts and you’re trying to resolve the problem, everybody has to stay on that table of conflict resolution. Factions will emerge, but the good thing is that if our goal is one and we can bring everybody together, I think we will go a long way because we have one vision.

“Let’s look beyond our personal gains and look at the problems of our communities. It is only then that we can move forward. IYC has been there before amnesty; you have worked hard, and I greet you for all the efforts you have put in place. “We need to have the skills and qualifications required. If we have those skills, we will not be lamenting because we have developed our own facets, stepped into it and taken control of it. For me, it is just empowerment of my own people, the Niger Delta people. That is what is in my mind, and that is why I always listen to people”.

President of the IYC, Mr. Oweilaemi Pereotubo, commended Dokubo for his attaining giant strides at the Amnesty Programme within a period of six months. He said there was a need for collaboration between the youth organisation and the Amnesty Office to move the Niger Delta forward.

“The IYC can be useful to you in many ways. You are in this office and you are doing a good job and that wonderful job you are doing needs to be complemented by the IYC.”

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