By Kenneth Ehigiator
The Federal Government, yesterday, gave financial and material aid to 300 ex-Niger Delta militants to enable them start off their medium and small-scale businesses.
The aid was given the ex-militants as part of government’s package to fully re-integrate them into the society.
The ex-militants were empowered by the Presidential Amnesty Office in areas of sales of building materials, electronics, fisheries and super markets, among others.
Speaking at the ceremony in Lagos, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, said the scheme was aimed at assisting the trained ex-militants and equip them to be a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Kuku, who was represented by the Technical Adviser on Amnesty, Mr. Larry Pepple, said the empowerment will lay a solid foundation, break the circle of poverty and contribute to the economic growth of the country.
Kuku said: “It will move Nigeria closer to the realisation of the number one goal of the millennium development goals, MDGs, of eradicating extreme hunger and poverty by 2015.’’
He noted that over 13,000 ex-militants had been deployed to local and foreign institutes for training, skill acquisition and other formal education, adding that over 2500 of them had been placed in higher institutions of learning, while 4,608 were currently undergoing skill acquisition training, and 9,192 had graduated in various fields, including agriculture, automobile, welding and fabrication, entrepreneurship, carpentry, plumbing, oil drilling and marine related courses; electrical installation, ICT and other areas.