The Special Adviser to President Muhamadu Buhari on the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, Gen Paul T. Boro (rtd) has urged former agitators in the region to look beyond the N65, 000 monthly allowances they get from the Federal Government and think of how they could be meaningfully reintegrated into the society.
Boro made this appeal at the Innoson Kiara Academy Enugu during the official commissioning of the training of ex-Niger Delta agitators on-auto engineering.
Boro advised the beneficiaries to put their mind on the training programme as it would empower them to establish their own businesses and become employers of labour.
The Amnesty boss assured of the preparedness of the Federal Government to render the necessary support to ensure that the ex-agitators were adequately trained and re-integrated into the society.
“After here, you will establish your own businesses and employ people. You are bigger than N65, 000. Put your mind in what you are doing. I will be here to support you” Boro said.
The Amnesty boss maintained that the Federal Government has made enough commitment to the Niger Delta region, which the ex-agitators should reciprocate by ensuring that peace reigns in the region.
“In 1960, the Federal Government established the Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB). The Presidential Task Force was established in 1980 with 1.5 percent derivation.
The OMPADEC was established in 1992 with 3 percent derivation. In 2000, NDDC was established, aimed at rapid intervention and rapid development of the Niger Delta region. The Federal Government established the Niger Delta Ministry in 2008 and Amnesty Programme in 2009” Boro said.
Lamenting the environmental degradation suffered by people in the Niger Delta region as a result of oil exploration, the Amnest boss recalled that he was at Ogoniland recently and wept.
Boro however noted that clean-up exercise starting in Ogoni-land within the next three weeks, would be extended to other parts of the Nigeria Delta Region that suffered the same fate.
Earlier in a welcome address read on behalf of the beneficiaries, Francis Ikpeme said they were proud of this administration for giving them hope, a brighter future and a change to become responsible people.
“Hence, we are no longer called animals, militants, destroyers and above all, bush people. We are saying with one voice, ‘thank you’, because we are now fully integrated into our home society” Ikpeme said.