The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd), has challenged youths in the Niger Delta to explore opportunities in palm oil business, describing it as the first economic maintstay of the region.
Recalling that the region was initially and historically notable for palm oil business, Dikio said the product was still selling more than oil and gas globally.
He said this in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, at a workshop organised by a group of ex-agitators working for sustained peace with the theme, ‘Niger Delta, a New Market to Explore’.
Speaking to over 50 youth groups that attended the workshop, Dikio, who delivered the keynote address, urged them to create the Niger Delta of their dreams, insisting that building a better region was their sole responsibility.
He said, “There is need for you to look inwards, develop your skills and improve yourselves to take advantage of the numerous opportunities around you.
“Niger Delta is blessed with immense natural resources beyond oil and gas. There is market for every good business idea. The Niger Delta is too rich for its citizens to be poor.
“There are other sectors and markets to explore. Before the discovery of oil and gas, the region was notable for the palm oil business which today sells more than oil and gas”.
Dikio further urged the youths to tap from the knowledge and skills of others by forming partnerships and leveraging on experiences of mentors and role models.
He said, “It starts first by developing the right attitude and imbibing the correct values. Every youth in the region needs and should get a personal vision of themselves and then determine to work with others to achieve it. If there is no challenge, there is no success”.
One of the speakers at the workshop, Dr. Terry Bagia, in his address, said that there was need for strategic partnership in the region and urged the youths to close ranks to ensure the right synergy.
Delivering his speech on conflict resolution and peace building, one of the conveners, Nature Dumale Kieghe, shared a personal experince of his transformation from violence to peace building.