Tuesday, November 29, 2016 11:09 pm
To boost employment, food production and security in the Niger Delta region, the Federal Government has commenced the process of engaging 10,000 former militants in the area in agriculture related ventures.
The Special Adviser on Amnesty to President Muhammadu Buahri, Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd) announced this on Tuesday in Benin City, Edo State, at a formal handing over of a 2,000-capacity fish pond to one of the former militants, Reuben Opobowie.
He explained that of the 10,000 to be engaged, 100 would be from Edo State, 500 from Bayelsa State, with others spread across other oil producing States.
According to Boroh, “The main interest of Mr. President who has expressed interest and commitment towards the development of the Niger Delta. The drive we are into now is on agric, because it captures three major items which include food security, job creation and increment in the finances of the farmers, because they will be able to get money from their products and again, agriculture stands as provision of raw materials with the industries in the country.
“Particularly agriculture is the best alternative to oil for now going by what is happening in the economy of the country as at today. I am very happy to be here today after deploying 500 ex agitators at the Oil Resources centre in Odi, Bayelsa state. Today, we are in Edo State, in continuation of that exercise and Ibowi is being empowered in fish farming and I want him to also be committed and faithful to what he has been given.
“We want to empower 10,000 of them to benefit from this project. Edo State will get 100 and 500 in Bayelsa and we will spread the number across the States in the Niger Delta; all the States will benefit in one way or the other.
“Those still involved in pipeline vandalism are those who are not beneficiaries of the programme because they don’t understand what the federal government is doing,” he said.
Responding, the appreciative beneficiary said: “I am very happy to see this programme come through. I am appreciative of what the Federal Government is doing for us and I msut say a big thanks to the President. The programme has brought me out from the creeks, it is giving me direction in life. I advise them [militants] to come out from the creeks and support the Federal Government. I am from Patani in Delta but based in Benin City.”