Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd), has explained that the scheme is tailoring its training of ex-agitators on food security and blue economy to maximise the economic comparative advantage of the region and avoid overdependence on external sources.
Dikio insisted that the oil industry, the marine sector and agriculture remained the dominant economic features of the Niger Delta and must be harnessed to attain self- dependence.
He said, “The dominant economy in this part of the world for me are two; the oil industry and the whole blue economy, the marine sector and everything marine.
“That is why under my management we are focusing on those two areas plus food security. If you can feed yourself you will be dependent to others. And today food is used as a political weapon.
“We cannot continue to neglect those things that are indigenous to our environment. The Petroleum Industry is key and we must get the best out of it, including other areas I mentioned.”
The Amnesty boss spoke when he visited the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) in Effurun and the Sapele Power PLC, both in Delta State.
He insisted that in the next few years, the Niger Delta would produce critical mass of entrepreneurs and very skilled individuals that would be most sought after in Nigeria and across the world.
Dikio said he was confident that the specialised training model he instituted for ex-agitators, popularly known asTrain, Employ and Mentor (TEM), would turn the beneficiaries into entrepreneurs.
Dikio said his mission to the two facilities was to expand the ongoing partnerships that had been built with private and public institutions for the training of ex-agitators.
He said, “It is in the spirit of the partnership we are building around; that is why we are here. The imperative for this mission is to see first hand what you have on ground. Quite frankly, I like the fact that you are certification minded. I tell people that skill is key. So, we are going a notch higher with previous training so that we can train people to become specialists.”
Expressing confidence that the PTI would deliver the best training to the next set of delegates of PAP, Dikio also said he was impressed with the courses offered by the institution and the collaboration with Glasgow Energy and Engineering Limited.
He added that the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the PAP and the PTI would be reviewed in line with the present realities.
In his remarks, the Principal and Chief Registrar of the PTI, Dr. Henry Adimula, thanked Dikio for the visit and commended him for his achievements since he came on board, which he said had made the Niger Delta region very peaceful.
Adimula, who was represented by the Director of Engineering, Dr. Samuel Onoji, said the PTI had since its establishment in 1973, lived up to its mandate of training people for the oil and gas industry.
He stressed that the Amnesty programme had helped to engaged thousands of youths in various fields and pledged that the PTI would continue to be a worthy partner to strengthen the programme.