Press Release

PAP Boss Harps On Partnership To Bridge Medical Professionals Gap In Niger Delta

The Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Dr Dennis Otuaro, has assured the management of the Bayelsa Medical University (BMU), Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, of the Programme’s readiness for collaboration to remedy the shortage of medical professionals in the Niger Delta.

He observed that there was a gap in medical personnel in the region, stressing that one of the major objectives of the Programme is human capital development in the region.

Otuaro, who gave the assurance when he led PAP management team on a visit to the BMU, on Friday, stated that the PAP Office and the BMU could strengthen their partnership to train more students in critical areas in the health sector.

Before BMU, he and his team had visited Igbenedion University and Benson Idahosa University in Edo State; the Western Delta University, Oghara; the Edwin Clark University, Kiagbodo; and the Michael and Cecelia Ibru University, Ughelli, all in Delta, as a part of his tour of tertiary educational institutions partnering with the PAP.

During the visits, Otuaro interacted with the PAP scholarship students and the management of the institutions with a view to getting first-hand information towards improving service delivery.

The Presidential Amnesty Programme, which was established in 2009 to disarm, demobilize and reintegrate ex-agitators into the mainstream of society and expand educational opportunities for indigenes of impacted communities, is currently in the reintegration phase.

A statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Mr Igoniko Oduma, quoted the PAP Administrator as having noted that the Niger Delta was faced with two major challenges namely, limited infrastructure and human capital development.

He applauded the BMU for being a success story of the PAP scholarship scheme, and playing the role for which it was established by the Bayelsa State Government.

Otuaro said, “The Amnesty Programme under my watch will focus on developing the human capital in the Niger Delta.

“The Bayelsa Medical University is very vital at this time when we need more trained medical professionals to cater to the healthcare needs of our people and drive development in the Niger Delta region.”

In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of BMU, Prof Ebitimitula Etebu, congratulated the PAP Administrator on his well-deserved appointment by President Bola Tinubu and also commended him for the deliberate decision to visit the institutions where scholarship students are studying, noting that “this demonstrates the vigour and dynamism you have brought to the Programme.’’

Etebu sought further collaborations between the university and the PAP, especially in professional courses, and appealed to the PAP Office to consider creating a special scholarship scheme for the health sector because of the great need in that area.

“I believe we should be able to take advantage of the Presidential Amnesty Programme to leave a lasting legacy for our people and impact them positively”, the VC said.

Otuaro later interacted with the PAP scholarship beneficiaries in the institution led by their leader, Fawei Disebira, a 300-level Medicine and Surgery student, promising to respond promptly to their complaints which bordered on late payments of in-training allowance and lack of gadgets.

Signed:

Mr Igoniko Oduma

Special Assistant on Media to the Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme.

12th May, 2024.

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