September 5, 2011

FG harps on jobs for ex-militants

By Kenneth Ehigiator & Nnamdi Ojiego
LAGOS—The Federal Government, yesterday, said that providing jobs for the former militants of the Niger Delta region after their current training at home and abroad, was the next major concern of government.

Meanwhile, Niger Delta activist, Mr Joseph Evah, charged the former militants to be good ambassadors of the country in their countries of training.

Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, who spoke at the pre-departure briefing for 82 former militants, who left for the Philippines and Israel for underwater and pipeline welding and modern agriculture, said the government was working assiduously to ensure that the former militants were offered jobs on their return from the training.

“Re-integration is the next level of the programme and it has moved from violent militancy to intellectual militancy. The issue of the job is the next phase from disarmament to demobilisation to re-integration.

“As you travel out, we are preparing day and night, so that on return, we will ensure that you are not idle,” Kuku said.

According to him, the Amnesty Office will search for jobs in the private and public sectors of the economy, oil companies in the Niger Delta and even set up those who are interested in self-employment.

He frowned at the continued high level indiscipline of the former militants earlier sent abroad for training, warning that government would not hesitate to seek their repatriation back home to face prosecution.

Addressing the former militants before they left, Mr Evah, noted that the training will enhance manpower development and alleviate poverty in the Niger Delta region.

He urged major oil companies in the region to partner with other stakeholders to industrialise the Niger Delta, stressing that this will create jobs for teeming unemployed youths in the region.

Of the 82 former militants, who departed the country, yesterday, 50 are for pipeline and underwater welding, while 32 others would train in modern agriculture in Israel.