From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has integrated the South-East business model in its training and empowerment of ex-agitators to reduce beneficiaries’ over-dependence on monthly stipends.
The Interim Administrator, PAP, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (retd), explained that the new model would transform delegates into skilled entrepreneurs and employable citizens.
Dikio in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media, Nneotaobase Egbe, said the new model was designed to make trainees contribute meaningfully to the economy of the Niger Delta region and the country.
The Presidential aide, who described the new system as an end-to-end empowerment model, said that PAP would partner with organizations ready and capable of training its delegates, employing successful trainees and mentoring them to achieve post-training proficiency.
According to him the system would stop the current multiplicity of the same empowerment and substandard packages that were not in line with the vision for the Amnesty Programme.
Dikio further explains that vendors, who wished to start their training and empowerment programmes for beneficiaries must obtain a letter of approval.
He said: “We have designed a holistic high quality empowerment package that will reduce delegates’ dependence on monthly stipends.
We cannot continue to say we are empowering our delegates and they cannot boast of anything to do or even find suitable jobs that suit the skills they have learnt.
“This is the model that is used by most businesses and organizations in the South – East and this have proven to be highly successful and effective”.
Meanwhile in a related development Dikio has urged students under PAP’s scholarship programme
to pursue entrepreneurial initiatives that would make them employers of labour instead of waiting for companies to engage them.
While commending the students for choosing dialogue instead of agitation, Dikio said students were expected to go back to their communities after graduation as good ambassadors of the Niger Delta to contribute to the development and economy of the region.
Dikio advised the students to stay away from people with selfish and evil intentions for the Niger Delta adding that PAP was created to stabilize, consolidate and sustain security required to hasten the development of the region.
“We will support innovative ideas that will make the Niger Delta a better place. It is the vision of the PAP to contribute to the development of the Niger Delta and make the region the best place to live and do business in.
“If our graduates shift from entitlement mentality or dependence on stipends, take ownership of the region and become proactive, then the Niger Delta will be well on its way to a developed and better economy.”