No fewer than 2,500 beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme are to be trained in the fishing sector in line with the federal government’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) to restore growth in the economy, an official said.
Towards this end, 100 fishing trawlers are to be built in Burutu, Delta State, for the training programme which is expected to commence soon, at the end of which 2000 of the beneficiaries would be employed.
Inaugurating an implementation committee comprising five subcommittees for the project under a National Development Programme through Industrial Fishing and Associated Seafood Production, Special Adviser to the President and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Charles Dokubo, expressed conviction that the training will open a vista of opportunities for beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme, especially those interested in sea faring and fishing.
He said the project was in fulfillment of his vision to drive the reintegration component of the Amnesty Programme in such a way that it would positively impact on beneficiaries and communities in the Niger Delta.
“When this concept was brought to me, about the availability of training, retraining and also employing our delegates, it was time specific and fitted into what I’m doing for the Amnesty Programme. I am really overjoyed, and I believe that the commitment of this meeting today will move this concept forward. Removing a chunk of beneficiaries from our database for me, is a thing of joy. If a chunk of these people is taken out, we can also do for those in the impacted communities,” Mr Dokubo noted.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of Concept Amadeus Limited, the lead partner for the project, commended Mr Dokubo for his commitment and passion towards ensuring its success.
He said the inauguration of the implementation committees for the smooth take-off of the project underscored Mr Dokubo’s understanding of the areas vital for training and empowerment of beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.
“I am proud of the Amnesty Office, especially the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, who has taken this project so dear to his heart. His commitment to this project has been unwavering and it is proven today with the setting up of this implementation unit. It shows a lot of vision and understanding of the needs of the Amnesty Programme and our delegates in particular.
“Most of us know that the biggest problem we have in the amnesty programme is that we train people and they come back in the system and stay in the system and we just carry over the same loads over and over again. This particular project is to ensure that the boys who are trained will be employed full-time and to ensure they get out of the stipend mentality and get jobs that will improve their lives.”
The project which is driven under a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) has the Presidential Amnesty Office, Concept Amadeus Limited, Akewa Global Services Limited (AGS) and four Greek companies as partners. The foreign firms include Fintrilis S.A, Tel of Western Greece; Kreta Mare, and Theoman Limited.
While Concept Amadeus Limited is the lead consulting firm, Akewa Global Services Limited (AGS) owns the Burutu fishing terminal located at the base of the River Niger in Delta State. Burutu has a 450metre berth space capable of accommodating 10 small vessels at a time; four Dockyard facilities, and 17 warehouses, among other facilities vital for the project.
Officials of the partnering foreign firms are expected in Nigeria on Saturday, this week, for a 10-day visit preparatory to the official launch of the project tentatively scheduled for October.