Abuja – The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Brig.- Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd), has said that the Federal Government has no plans to enrol more militants into the Amnesty Programme.
Boroh, who is also the Coordinato,r Presidential Amnesty Programme, made this known when stakeholders of the programme visited him on Friday in Abuja.
He explained that his mandate was to reintegrate 30,000 ex-agitators captured in the Amnesty Programme, stressing that he could not go beyond that limit.
“Amnesty Programme worldwide has a limit because it is a master piece strategy to resolve militancy. When that of Nigeria was established in 2009, it was supposed to exist for a particular time.
“I do not intend to bring in more agitators into the programme because that is not my mandate.
“My mandate is to reintegrate 30,000 ex-agitators that are already in the programme.
“I do not think that the Federal Government is going to have another Amnesty Programme; it is very expensive and at present, our economy is not in the right status.”
He, however, said that the number was already bloated because communities affected during the conflicts were being taken care of by government.
He added that some members of the communities had been enlisted in skills acquisition and training programmes.
According to him, the Federal Government has commenced dialogue with the Niger Delta Avengers through the Dialogue Committee.
This, he said, was with a view to halting the lingering hostility and bombing of oil facilities in the region.
He charged the stakeholders to think of ways of creating jobs for those living in the region and how to develop the country.
He stressed that though the Amnesty Programme had been a great success, it was better to work than to think of a programme that would give stipend every month.
According to him, the success of the programme has swelled the ranks of thousands of armed youths seeking to lay down their arms and live normal lives.
He said that 22 ex-agitators under the programme had graduated from Jordan as Aircraft Maintenance Engineers, adding that the programme had also recorded successes in automobile technology.
Boroh also said that 72 ex-agitators graduated in Aquaculture and Fishery at the Institute of Oceanography, University of Calabar.
The special adviser, however, advised youths to embrace agriculture as a primary or secondary means of earning income in order to generate jobs, create wealth and achieve food security.
He added that his office had designed a 12-month programme to train and establish cluster farms to reintegrate 10,000 ex-agitators captured in the Amnesty Programme.
Boroh further added that his office had keyed into the Green Alternative initiative of the Federal Government through strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN).
The programme, he said, had also collaborated with the governments of the nine oil producing states, Ministry of Agriculture and National Biotechnology Resource Centre to achieve its target.
Earlier, Mr Timi Ogoriba who led the stakeholders on the visit, said the objective of the visit was to discuss ways of restoring peace and stability to the Niger Delta region.
He, therefore, urged the governors of the nine oil producing states in the region to assist in integrating trained youths through sustainable human capacity development and job opportunities.