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Amnesty office facilitates jobs for 91 ex-militants

18 February 2014, 15:06

Abuja - The Presidential Amnesty Office on Monday has facilitated employment for over 91 former militants within and outside the country.

According to Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Kingsley Kuku, 11 828 former militants had graduated from skills acquisition centres and universities within and outside the country.

"Those employed included 10 with Nigeria Army and six with the Nigeria Customs Services.

"The Century Energy Group employed 40, while SAP Drilling Oil and Gas Ltd., engaged five and another 30 are working with the Proclad Group in Dubai, UAE.

"As part of our post-training policy, we are currently setting up 2 000 of the graduates of our skill acquisition programme in small businesses.

"This post-training policy is designed to help several delegates to become self-employed and subsequently become employers of labour themselves.

"Our women programme has over 500 people in various training programmes, including hospitality and fashion design.

"Several are still in line to attend their training programmes in Nigeria and Europe," Kuku said.

He said out of 30 000 people enlisted in the amnesty programme, 12 031 had undergone vocational training both within and outside the country.

According to him, 5 315 are in universities in the UK, USA, South Africa, Malaysia, Canada, United Arabs Emirates, Kaplan colleges as well as six private universities in Nigeria.

"A total of 31 of our delegates are already qualified commercial pilots.

He denied that the amnesty office since its inception got a budget of N400 billion to implement the amnesty programme.

"The amnesty programme has received just N243.13 billion since inception and not the N400 billion that is currently making the rounds in a section of Nigerian media.

"Some politicians and their allies in the media have formed the habit of collating the budgets of the Niger Delta Development Commission and the Ministry of the Niger Delta.

"They lump them up as what has been earmarked for the amnesty programme.

"This is not only malicious but a calculated attempt to incite Nigerians and the international community against the amnesty programme and its beneficiaries."

He said prior to the amnesty proclamation four years ago, unending violent agitations by youths and communities virtually crippled economic and social activities in the Niger Delta.

"At the peak of the crisis in 2009, Nigeria’s crude production fell from 2.2 million barrels per day to as low as 700 000 barrels per day.

"Owing to the relative peace in the region and in spite of oil theft, Nigeria and its Joint Venture partners now produce 2.4 to 2.6 million barrels per day.

-  NAN

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