Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, at the weekend, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari, for his unwavering determination towards deepening peace and development of the Niger Delta region.
Dokubo said President Buhari has done well for the people of the oil-rich region, especially with the Amnesty Programme which has trained over 3000 beneficiaries in less than two years under his watch from March 2018.
Speaking in Lagos on the sidelines at a ceremony organized by Bradama International Skill Works Limited, a leading construction firm in the oil and gas sector, the Amnesty boss noted that the Programme has achieved huge success in transforming the lives of its beneficiaries.
“We have had more than 3000 beneficiaries who have been trained since I took over office. And then we have a job placement unit that also looks for jobs for them and places them there. The issue is that the government cannot provide everything; what government does is to create an enabling environment from which people can cue into to get something. We believe that with time, those who have been trained, their training will not be wasted. They will go back into society and attain great heights.
I believe the Amnesty Programme has done very good work with the support of the Federal Government. The Buhari administration has been very particular about the Niger Delta and I believe that if we can use what is available to us well, Niger Delta region will be in a different place from what it is now”.
While identifying job placement for already trained beneficiaries as a major challenge, Dokubo however assured that the job placement unit of the Amnesty office will intensify the hunt for job opportunities, even as payment of monthly stipends and allowances, training and empowerment of beneficiaries will be priorities.
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“The Federal Government is doing all it takes to ensure that we don’t have hitches in running the programme; the Amnesty Programme is a priority in terms of funding. The fact is that the Amnesty Programme has run for about 10 years and the Federal Government is still supporting the programme. We are in the last stage of the programme, that is, reintegration. We have to train our people and bring them back to health so they will have jobs and earn salaries, which they will pay taxes from. What we are doing now is to assist those who are being reintegrated into society so that they can also aid development in the places they come from”.
Earlier in his remarks, Chief Executive Officer of Bradama International Skill Works Limited, Chief Bibopere Ajube, listed the gains of the Amnesty Programme since its inception. He said it has stabilized the hitherto restive Niger Delta region and increased crude oil production.
“Since the creation of the Amnesty Programme, nobody will say Amnesty is not working; it is trying in every way. Let me put it like that because, without peace in Niger Delta, Nigeria cannot survive; there will be no oil production. Without peace, there is no way the government can run Nigeria. So the peace in Niger Delta is why Nigeria has money to run”.
Ajube, who is a key leader of ex-agitators in the Niger Delta, commended Dokubo for his commitment towards the development of the region, just as he noted that Bradama International Skills Limited which he founded nine years ago, has transformed to a leading service provider in the oil and gas sector with over 2000 employees.
At the ceremony which attracted industrialists, traditional rulers, top politicians, stakeholders in the Niger Delta and community leaders, Dokubo was conferred with a Special Recognition Award, the third time he has emerged recipient of coveted awards in two months within and outside the shores of Nigeria.