Prof. Charles Dokubo, the Special Adviser to the President and Coordinator Amnesty Programme, has said that the office would train 2500 ex-militants on fishing and other vocations.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja that the ex-militants would be trained on modern fishing techniques under the fishermen training programme, which was officially launched on May 24, by the Federal Government as part of the Amnesty Programme.
Mr Dokubo said the training came with a ship building transfer of technology component, with fish packaging and processing plants, adding that the amnesty office was working in partnership with Concept Amadeus Limited, to achieve the objectives.
According to him, Concept Amadeus Limited has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Greek University for the training and other Greek companies for the building of 100 state of the art modern ships that could track fish.
“It is not about fishing only, my office was created to maintain peace, security, stability and economic development in the Niger Delta region.
“So, whatever, that will enhance peace and security in the area is also part of our programme, we train people on sea faring and fishing, which has been the way of life of the people.
“The Niger Delta is a maritime environment and our predominant occupation is fishing and farming, so anything that will bring the fishing capacity of the people to the electronic age, will be of very big assistance to the people of the region.
“We are going to train not less than 2,500 in the first batch from our data base of 30,000 and after they have been trained and given jobs, we will delete their names from the programme to create room for another batch,” he said.
He stressed that the new knowledge and technology of the 21st century was very important to people of the Niger Delta region, who he noted were accustomed to fish and fishing.
Mr Dokubo added that the trainees would, however, be paid stipends for a period of six months after their training to enable them stabilise.
He said the programme could only be stopped if the Federal Government decided to, adding that the programme was very important to government to achieve stability and security in the Niger Delta region.
According to him, the programme is a big opportunity for those who claim to have been marginalised, to acquire knowledge and build their individual capacity to work and earn money.
“To earn money and the multiplier effect is the most important thing to me, because they will pay tax, train their children in schools and buy things from the communities they live,“ he said.
He said that though fishing had been part of life of the people of Niger Delta region, the Amnesty Office was working in partnership with other companies to bring knowledge that was not available in the country.
Mr Dokubo also revealed that though the Nigeria Navy was trying to provide maritime security, coordination of the Navies from the 18 countries in the Golf of Guinea would enhance not only security, but create a mutually benefiting environment for member countries.
He expressed optimism that a perfect security environment in the Gulf area would also enhance the capacity of the people and make training and fishing secured.
“We believe in the sanctity of the maritime environment and we are going to work with others that will assist us, so that we can be fruitful,” he said.
He said though the Niger Delta environment had been polluted for long due to oil spillage and exploration, the Federal Government with the assistance of some foreign government was determined to begin the clean-up of the Ogoni region especially.
This, he added, was a pointer that environment was critical to the country.
He said that the Amnesty Office was at the phase of re-integration, where the plan was to nurse back communities and the people to health and to give them jobs through job placements organised by the office.