By Barr. Mary Agbajoh
Evidence are bound that after hundred days in office, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Dokubo has not only repositioned the Agency, but has brought life, Succor, Peace and Economic Development to Niger Delta Region.
After taking over the mantle of leadership, having been appointed on March 13, 2018, Dokubo opened a new vista that enabled the people of the Region peep into new direction on the Amnesty Programme.
The new vista which amended the errors of the previous managements of the Amnesty Programme include education, vocational, post training engagement and job placement initiatives, as well as sustainability plans.
To have effective knowledge of the problems of Niger Delta people and how to resolve them so as to create an enduring peaceful co-existence in the region for business to strive successfully, Dokubo summoned meetings of Niger Delta stakeholders made of ex-agitators and leaders of the region for crucial meetings. During the various meetings, he was able to decipher the problem of the people of the region and how to resolve them.
The beginning of his success story was noted in the upliftment of Amnesty educational programme. Besides deploring 1,807 delegates to 145 institutions across the globe for various educational programmes by the offshore education unit of the Amnesty Office, 207 students spread across 66 institutions in 20 countries are currently studying various courses. Better deal for beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme is further heightened by Dokubo’s determination to surpass a record 30 offshore graduates of the programme who attained First Class Honours/Distinction degrees in courses including Engineering, Bio-medical science, Law, Information Technology, Political Science and International Relations. Effective monitoring of Offshore students by Relationship Managers under his watch has also reduced agitation of students since he assumed office. The Cheering News is that 339 students in various universities in the country are expected to graduate in the 2017/2018 academic session, an improvement on the 300 recorded last year.
Beside, the Amnesty Boss deserves to be commended for ensuring that the Onshore education unit of the Amnesty Office attends promptly to the welfare of students pursuing degree programmes in Nigerian institutions. As at this moment, no fewer than 500 Niger Delta Students are studying various courses both in private and government universities across the country under the sponsorship of Federal Amnesty programme.
It would be recalled that on assumption of duty, Prof. Dokubo had tasked the onshore education unit to develop a sustainable plan for the next two years. This included the preparation of students’ allowances on a quarterly basis to ensure deadlines were strictly met and to avoid unforeseen circumstances that could warrant late disbursement of funds by the Federal Government. A verification exercise to ascertain the actual number of students who are beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme at various universities across the country is ongoing to ensure government funds are not misappropriated.
Dokubo managerial ability has led to enduring Peace in the Niger Delta Region as he strived to take Amnesty Programme to a greater height. His resolve is fired by fresh initiatives at the Amnesty Office as Dokubo sets out to put finishing touches for five vocational Training centres across the Niger Delta Region to come on stream. These include the Maritime Vocational Training Centre at Oboloma, Rivers State, Basic Skills Vocational Training Centre in Boro Town, Kaiama, Bayelsa State, Power and Energy Vocational Training Centre in Bomadi, Delta State, Oil and Gas Vocational Training Centre, Agadagba-Obon, Ondo State and the Agricultural Vocational Training Centre in Gelegele, Edo State. The vocational centres at Agadagba and kaiama are expected to be operational by next month, to empower ex-agitators with viable skills to become economically independent and relevant to themselves, families, communities and the nation.
It would be noted that no fewer than 200 delegates of the Amnesty Programme are currently undergoing training in automobile at Innoson Kiara Academy, Nnewi, Anambra State, while about 559 are training in agriculture at other facilities. Besides, there are evidence by the action plan of the Post Training Engagement and Job Placement units of the Amnesty Office to provide placement for the trainees. Right now no fewer than 5,700 delegates including the expected roll-over from the previous year have been proposed for empowerment/business set-up this year, depending on availability of funds.
Under Dokubo, reintegration has taking a new turn. Beneficiaries are made to make judicious use of their starter packs. Unlike in the past when the items were sold out, the monitoring measures put in place made them to make good use of the opportunity to become entrepreneurs who employ labour thereby contributing to the development of the economy of the Nation
Dokubo has facilitated job placement for beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme through a Job Placement and International Development Partners Engagement Unit (JPIDPEU), which he created on assumption of office. So far, the unit has profiled 28 delegates for underwater welding jobs, 100 delegates for civil service jobs and 10 delegates for aviation crop spray pilot jobs. It has also concluded profiling of 25 delegates for catering services, hotel and fast food jobs and 75 delegates for other job opportunities.
For just 100 days Dokubo had already made a difference from previous managers of the Amnesty Programme. His action is convincing that things will be different in the Amnesty Programme now hence he has started firing from all cylinders. He has kept the hope of the people of Niger Delta alive. If he could achieve this lot within 100 days, that means the people of the Region are in for better deal in future.
Be that as it may and being an indigene of the Niger Delta region who knew about the pains of the people, he has been able to create an environment which has sustained the Peace and Tranquility of the Region which has enable oil conglomerates to work without hindrance in the Region resulting in Economic boost as Production of oil has risen to 2.2 barrel per day thereby meeting OPEC quota.
- Barr. Mary Agbajoh writes from Abuja