The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has pledged its readiness to partner the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), in tackling insecurity, restiveness and unemployment in the Niger Delta region by empowering youths with requisite skills.
The Interim Administrator Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Barry Ndiomu revealed this during a courtesy visit to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) in Lagos on Thursday.
Ndiomu who was received by NPA’s Managing Director, Mohammed Bello-Koko and other management team, said he has come to solicit the support of the authority in some of its programmes, especially the Deep Sea Diving School in Rivers State, to ensure speedy achievement of its primary objective of boosting the capacity of youths in the area.
“When I took over in September 2022, I discovered that the programme had been drifting away from the core objectives of why it was established. I have to redirect the vision towards the initial concept, which is to build the capacity of the teeming restive youths,as some of them engage in criminal activities and other activities which affects the economy,” Ndiomu stated.”.
“These boys are willing to learn. Many of them have been trained but sadly, they are unemployed. I don’t think this is in the best interest of the country. We have been managing them by paying them the recommended stipend monthly, but i don’t think this is the right way to go”. he added.
He emphasized that the Amnesty Programme has five vocational centres, which includes; the Agadagba in Ondo state aimed at training youths in oil & gas related activities; the Bomadi, Delta state with the objectives of building capacity in energy related activities while the one in Rivers state is for deep sea diving training.
While lamenting that the centre in Boro town, Bayelsa State was vandalised after its completion, Ndiomu appealed for technical support, as well as long-term strategic collaboration in utilising one of the jetties of the NPA for the deep sea diving school in Rivers state.
Responding, the Managing Director of NPA, Bello-Koko, commended Ndiomu, for boosting the capacity of youths in the Niger Delta, noting that the programme has helped in addressing unrest in the region.
He assured the PAP team of the willingness of NPA to provide technical support and other assistance needed for the success of the deep sea diving school. He said the authority has improved activities in the ports in the region as a way of gainfully engaging the youths through provision of jobs.
“For us in NPA, we have tried to improve activities of our ports in the region as a way of tackling restiveness because with these activities, jobs are created and the youths are engaged. We will work with you to give you all the support you need.” Koko added.
Reporting by Julian Osamoto