By Udeme Clement
In line with its economic transformation and job creation agenda, the Federal Government, through the Amnesty programme, has trained 26 ex-militants of the Niger Delta region to become entrepreneurs and employers of labour.

The Special Adviser on Niger Delta Matters to President Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, made this known, stressing that Jonathan wants the ex-militants and indeed Nigerian youths to develop themselves to such an extent that they will no longer be job seekers but employers of labour.

Kuku, who represented Jonathan on the occasion of the first Niger Delta Amnesty Programme on ‘Underwater Welding Technology’ graduation from the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun, stressed the need for youths to be trained in areas of competence to enhance their employability in line with the policy of government on wealth creation aimed at achieving economic growth and development.

He explained, “The 26 graduands  acquired professional training at PTI in areas of bench work, surface welding, fundamentals of diving, scuba diving, dive safety, dive theory, offshore operations, underwater welding and cutting, dive equipment maintenance, dive physiology, computer appreciation, entrepreneurship, stamina building, surface demand diving, deep sea diving as well as offshore technology.

“The graduands should use their newly acquired certificates, which placed them in a vantage position, contribute positively to the development of their communities and the nation at large.”

Also, the managing consultant and chief executive of Scotchville Industrial Consortium, Dr. Benjamin Onoriode Irikefe, said the training began from the orientation camp at Obubra in Cross River State through the rigorous training programmes at PTI, to the diving at the deep sea and rounded up with an intensive one week entrepreneurship workshop. According to Irikefe, the entire process was characterised by several twists and turns. However, the graduands were able to acquire such vital certificates as Federal Trade Test Certificate II and III, conducted by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Modular Trade Certificate in welding conducted by the National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB), PTI certificate in underwater welding and cutting issued by the World Class Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun.

He added, “The graduands were adequately trained to equip themselves to become self employed and not job seekers. Aside from the mandate given by the Amnesty programmes Officer, the Consortium went further to register the graduands with the National Association of Professional Divers (NAPROD), the umbrella body of professional divers of Nigeria.”


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