Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has produced its first set of 349 graduates under the Train, Employ and Mentor scheme introduced by the Interim Administrator of Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd).
However, 51 of the ex-agitators were expelled for indiscipline and other forms of shady behaviours.
The 349 ex-agitators graduated from Bradama, a company owned by an ex-agitator, High Chief Bibopere Ajube, aka Shoot-at-Sight, at Agadagba-Obon, Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State.
During the event, Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, represented by his Deputy Governor, Lucky Orimisan Aiyedatiwa, commended Dikio for fulfilling the mandate of the programme by restoring peace in the Niger Delta and creating sustainable means of livelihood for the people.
According to him, Dikio’s approach of creating wealth using the TEM scheme has helped to curb youth restivenes across the region and also produced a new legion of entrepreneurs in various sectors.
While congratulating the beneficiaries, Aiyedatiwa said that their graduation signalled the commencement of massive opportunities in their quest to become active players in the key sectors of the nation’s economy.
“I have no doubt that these graduates are quality products because of the institution they passed through. I am also indeed very pleased to know that the partnership between Bradanma and the Presidential Amnesty Programme is still very effective in providing the technical manpower for the oil and gas and other sectors.
“The dearth and scarcity of manpower in the oil and gas industry and other relevant sectors in the value chain has been a major challenge.
“It becomes very heartwarming therefore to find that the Amnesty programme since coming on stream has taken the initiative for a systemic restoration of peace in the Niger Delta through various scholarships into different institutions of learning with the skill acquisition and technical manpower provision for the industry thereby creating means of livelihood for our people.
“This initiative is a very important aspect of the dual purpose of redressing the impact of many years of neglect of infrastructural and human capital development in the Niger Delta,” Dikio said.
Continuing, Dikio disclosed that 51 out of the 400 ex-agitators sent to the facility were expelled for offences bordering on indiscipline.
“Sadly, 51 delegates were expelled from the programme for deviant behaviours. I remain sad for this outcome but wish to reemphasize that PAP under my watch will not tolerate acts of indiscipline such as those displayed by the 51 expelled delegates.
“Let it be known that these delegates stand the risk of being dropped from PAP stipend list, should they demonstrate further acts of sabotage”.
He said TEM was introduced as a departure from previous empowerment models, which he said were fraught with poor oversight and limited opportunities for transfer of skills.
Dikio said in line with delivering the transformation of delegates to “skill giants” in the Niger Delta, PAP under his watch ensured that only companies that demonstrated the capacity to train delegates in a resourced technical facility such as Bradama and with ability to provide employment to at least 50 per cent of the best graduands are engaged to execute TEM projects.
He said the choice of Bradama as the pioneer TEM facilitator was informed by the development and growth of the company owned by Ajube, who was one of those at the forefront of the agitations for a more developed Niger Delta.
Congratulating the graduands, Dikio appealed to those to be retained in the facility to remain good ambassadors of PAP while others would be guided by the Job Placement Unit of PAP to other opportunities in the region.