L-R is the Interim Administrator Presidential Amnesty Programme PAP handing over the Cooperative certificate to PAP legal Adviser Justice Francis Tabai retired at the cooperative launch in Abuja. Photo Credit Julian Osamoto/Radio Nigeria
The Federal Government has injected the sum of N1.5 billion into the ex-agitators cooperative scheme to be accessed by beneficiaries of Niger Delta region.
The Interim Administrator of the Amnesty Programme, General Barry Ndiomu, who disclosed this at the launch of the cooperative scheme in Abuja, promised that N500million would be provided as monthly support to sustain the scheme.
According to General Ndiomu explained that the Scheme is an alternative economic development project designed to create more viable means of livelihood for ex-agitators.
General Ndiomu said the office is currently engaging the European union, Bank of Industry and other notable institutions to allow beneficiaries access to grants.
According to the Amnesty boss, the scheme which is in direct supervision of the Amnesty office, is expected to work with beneficiaries to identify areas of businesses in their locality.
” The whole idea is to empower the ex-agitators in the Niger Delta region to be self reliant, the cooperative is expected to work with beneficiaries of PAP to identify business that align with their motivations, skills, and turn profitable ventures, this will reduce their over dependence on the monthly stipend of 65,000 naira, reduce idleness, and criminal activities in the region“.Major General Barry Tariye Indiomu, Interim Administrator, PAP, second left, management team and the ex-agitators in a group photograph during the launch of the Presidential Amnesty Programme Cooperative Society Limited in Abuja
Gen Ndiomu said that the the project would identify and build the capacity of beneficiaries to participate in marketing opportunities and create avenue to engage in sustainable means of livelihoods in Agriculture, Technology as well as Renewable Energy.
Speaking on behalf of the Ex-agitators, Mr Henry Ekes appreciated the administration for such laudable initiative and expressed the hope that the initiative will transform the Ex-agitators to entrepreneurs.
Reporting by Julian Osamoto; Editing by Adeniyi Bakare