The federal government is to engage no fewer than 10,000 youths from the nine oil-producing states in the Niger Delta in securing oil pipelines traversing their various communities.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting between the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and leaders of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd), said the parley was a win-win one for all the parties involved.
“At the end of the meeting, everybody was happy. It was a win-win situation for all the parties. The meeting was also revealing,” he said.
According to him, it was at the meeting that it came to the fore, the enormous resources the federal government was expending in the region.
“It was also revealed at the meeting the enormous effort, time and resources expended in the Niger Delta through the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Presidential Amnesty Programme, among others,” Boroh said.
He noted that the initial tension arising from the PANDEF misgiving about the federal government’s response to its 16-item demand stemmed from misinformation.
Explaining where the misinformation originated from, he said the impression that was created in the minds of the PANDEF leaders and others in the region was that the federal government had repudiated its promises, including making the Maritime University in Delta State functional soonest.
Boroh said at the meeting, it was evident to PANDEF that the structures for the effective take off of the university during the next academic session, including the recruitment of the vice chancellor were already in place.
He also revealed that leaders of oil-producing communities in the nine states had already submitted names of youths in their respective areas for recruitment into securing pipelines.
Boroh said consultations were already in top gear for an overview before engaging the 10,000 youths, adding that the pipelines security programme has the capacity of engaging as many as 50,000 youths in no distant time.
He appealed for patience and understanding from people in the region, saying the federal government meant well.
He said the peculiar and difficult terrain of the region contribute to the slow pace of development projects.
On the Amnesty programme, he said it was a resounding success, adding that three of its beneficiaries had just graduated from a university in Belarus with first class honours.
According to him, over N48 billion had so far been spent on the education bills of students in foreign scholarship under the programme.
Noting that the programme was acknowledged globally, Boroh said the United Nations (UN) had adopted the Nigerian model to solve problems of militancy in Côte d’Ivoire.
He said that the UN had invited him to brief the body on the modalities being used by the Nigerian government to tackle the problem of militancy.
Boroh said the programme had succeeded in restoring peace and stability to the region through human capacity development and various reintegration programmes .
The programmes, according to him include; education, vocational training, professional training in aviation and maritime, automobile engineering, entrepreneurial training and tourism and hospitality.