By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Kingdom of Netherlands has expressed interest to collaborate with Federal Government in development of Niger Delta region.
The Kingdom of Netherlands’ Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. John Groffen stated this on Monday when he visited the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Gen. Paul Boroh (Rtd) in Abuja.
The Ambassador also expressed the readiness of the Kingdom of Netherlands to join hands with other development partners in cleansing the Ogoni land and other polluted areas of the Niger Delta.
Mr. Groffen said his country was gratified with the recent smooth transition of power in Nigeria and had decided to partner Nigeria in every possible areas of collaboration to actualize peace and development of the country, particularly in the oil rich region of Nigeria.
He said Nigeria remains a dependable economic partner to Netherlands and as such stands to enjoy the support of Netherlands in restoring the much needed peace in the oil region.
‘‘We are happy with the smooth transition of power in Nigeria. We see Nigeria as a country of endless potentials. We are committed to collaborating with this Office to restoring peace in the Niger delta region.
‘‘Beyond that, we are going to attract companies that will bring development to Nigeria that is why we are here to seek possible areas of collaboration with the Amnesty Office.
‘‘Nigeria is an economic partner for us. We will see what we can do to ensure success of that plan. We will seek possible ways to collaborate with government.
‘‘We have good relationship with our host communities through our Ditch companies operating Nigeria. We will be involved in cleaning up the Ogoni land as part of our Corporate Social Responsibility. We will also look into training some ex-agitators at Netherlands Institute of Conflict resolution.’’
Responding, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Gen. Paul Boroh (Rtd) said the Office is more concerned on how best to reintegrate ex-agitators to be gainfully employed.’’
‘‘We will come up with integrated plans for other development partners to support what we are doing. We are formulating different amnesty plan to achieve sustainable reintegration plan for ex-agitators.’’
He further appealed to the envoy to bring their experience to bear in Niger Delta by replicating the Multi-country demobilization and reintegration programme (MDRP model for PAP delegates for sustainable reintegration that will drive peace and development in Nigeria.
Earlier in a presentation by the Post Training and Engagement Unit of the Amnesty Programme, the office said 30,000 delegates have so far been shortlisted and documented for implementation of unique empowerment programmes for the beneficiaries of the programme and out of which, 17,000 have been trained on various skills and empowerment programmes. Out of this number, 822 are women.
He appealed to the Netherland ambassador to buy into the new development plans by engaging some of the trained youths to become self-reliant and relevant in securing the oil facilities in the region.
It also sought the cooperation of the Netherlands to consider training the youths of other skill building areas as: divers, drillers, pipeline welders and fabricators, power generation and other technical training.