THE presidential amnesty programme recently selected over 100 ex-militants in the Niger Delta region of the country for vocational training.
ACCORDING to the co-ordinator of the programme, Prof Charles Dokubo, the training would be spread across different disciplines such as basic skills on Oil and Gas, Power, Maritime and Agriculture but would mainly focus on the needs in the Niger Delta region.
HE stated that his office through the Amnesty Programme has been able to re-focus and also re-design the training for the ex-agitators for better empowerment.
DOKUBO stated this at the commissioning of the Oil and Gas Vocational Training Centre (VTC), Agadagba-Obon in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo state.
HE explained that five vocational institutes have been established by the Amnesty Programme in Bayelsa, Edo, Rivers, Delta and Ondo states, to train the ex-agitators in various skills and vocations.
AMNESTY programme was first mooted by the regime of late Umar Musa Yar’dua. It was designed to engage the restive youths of the Niger Delta and bring peace to the ever volatile region.
THE growing problem of unemployment in the country has contributed largely to the worsening problem of poverty and restiveness among mostly youths.
THIS leads to frustration and disillusionment which often promote crime or drug abuse in a futile attempt to escape from and forget the pains and humiliation of poverty and lack.
MANY able-bodied and highly qualified persons who could not secure gainful employment have remained economically dependent on their parents.
THIS is because they lack the necessary occupational skills to be self employed and effectively function in today’s world of work.
NO doubt, vocational education prepares one for the world of work with which the individual becomes self reliant and can make contributions to the development of the society. With the economy being more globalised than ever, it is important to have a background and a skill set that allows one to be competitive in the global economy.
IT is also important for the youth to have skills in technology, education and entrepreneurship to be ready to fit into the global market on which today’s economy depends on.
WE therefore commend both the Amnesty Office and Federal Government for this laudable programme. This programme has made the militants to be empowered instead of relying on illicit money which unfortunately is not easy to come by any more.
IT will also make the restive area peaceful as those causing trouble in the area will now be gainfully engaged. There is no denying the fact that developments can only thrive in a peaceful environment, we therefore call on youths to embrace this programme and allow peace to reign in their domain.
WE also call on the state government not to only key into the programme but also replicate it in all local governments in the state. This, we believe will engage some of our unemployed youths and make them to be self-reliant, more purposeful and contribute to the economic well-being of their locality.
IT is our belief that it is when our youths are gainfully engaged that crime can be curbed and prevent them from constituting a nuisance to the society.
THE HOPE lauds the state government for providing the enabling environment and pleads that it should monitor it so as not to defeat its actual purpose.