The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) has challenged contractors to the scheme to turn ex-agitators that will be sent to their firms into entrepreneurs.

A statement issued on Monday by Mr Nneotaobase Egbe, Dikio’s Special Assistant on Media quoted him as saying that the concept is in line with the novel Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) model.

Dikio demanded that the vendors must ensure that each ex-agitator received enough training that would make him an employer of labour and an owner of a functional enterprise at the end of the programme.

The amnesty boss gave the challenge at a one-day sensitisation workshop organised by PAP in Abuja at the weekend.

Dikio explained that the aim of the workshop was to teach contractors the TEM model warned that vendors must stick to their terms of reference.

He continued that the model was developed as a paradigm shift to change the narrative of past failed training methods with the key objectives of transforming ex-agitators into successful business owners or employable citizens that would contribute to the economy of the Niger Delta.

Dikio said with the wealth in the Niger Delta and opportunities available in maritime, agriculture and oil and gas, the region had no excuses for poverty.

He told the firms that he would like to see beneficiaries, who no longer depended on handouts and monthly stipends at the end of their training.

“There is no excuse for poverty in the Niger Delta; the days of blaming people are over, and it is time to get your hands in the soil.

“One of the essential goals is to turn our ex-agitators from being dependent on stipends and handouts to entrepreneurs and employers of labour and train them to be equipped to take advantage of all the opportunities that are in the oil and gas sector, maritime and agriculture sector in the Niger Delta.

“Over the years, everybody in the Niger Delta has raved about crude oil, but right under our nose is palm oil, which is more expensive than crude oil. So, the bottom line is that there’s no excuse for poverty in the Niger Delta.

“We must find ways to maximise the opportunities therein”, Dikio insisted.

Harping on the importance of food security, the amnesty boss said there must be a symbiotic relationship between delegates and farmers.

He said in the spirit of shared prosperity, vendors should establish partnerships to create more impact and benefit from bigger opportunities.

The benefitting contractors are Betrieb Limited, Oil & Gas Consultancy Limited; Express Concerns Limited; Giolee Global Resources Limited; Sunup Logistics Limited; Teecentinel Nigeria Limited; Vika Farms and Kris-Dera Agro Allied Farms Limited.

They are expected to train over 2500 delegates on metal works, solar, plumbing and woodwork, psychometric assessment on oil and gas, rice, fish and poultry farming as well as oil spill control and remediation. Other areas are marine-related skills, cassava processing and starch production and livestock farming.

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