Retired Col. Milland Dikio, Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), has appealed to the Niger Delta people in the Diaspora to invest their money in the region.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Dikio made the appeal in a statement by his Special Adviser, Media, Mr Neotabase Egbe, on Monday.
Dikio, according to the statement, was speaking at the 2022 Ijaw Diaspora Convention in New Jersey, USA on Sunday.
He listed various opportunities in the region especially in maritime, agriculture and oil and gas, saying that the sectors were begging for investments.
Dikio referred to the palm oil sub sector as another opportunity with huge economic potential begging for attention.
He decried the emphasis on crude oil, explaining that palm oil had broader market, greater economic value and better returns if serious investments were made to harness it.
Dikio described the opportunities in the region as new market frontiers waiting for investors to unlock and reap bountiful economic benefits.
He allayed the security fears of those in the Diaspora and added that the interventions of the Amnesty Office had calmed down frayed nerves and restored peace in the region.
He told the potential investors that he had redesigned the training programmes of ex-agitators with the introduction of the novel Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) initiative.
He noted that TEM was introduced to make ex-agitators competent entrepreneurs and employable citizens.
Dikio said with the new concept, the era of dumping beneficiaries after training was over.
He disclosed that currently under TEM, 1,500 delegates had been deployed to various reputable companies to pursue careers in maritime, agriculture, oil and gas among others.
He told the potential investors in the Diaspora that the ex-agitators no longer blocked roads because of his efforts to make PAP focus on beneficiaries and the introduction of a new conflict resolution system.
Dikio further said his administration created the Strategic Communications Committee (SCC), composed of ex-agitators who were taught negotiating skills, bridge building, networking and other friendly ways of resolving conflicts.
He also said the tension in the region reduced drastically following his deliberate policy of continually engaging all stakeholders to tackle challenges.
The amnesty boss reiterated that his leadership was focused on the mission of making ex-agitators economically self-reliant either through entrepreneurship or paid employment.
On the misconceptions of PAP, Dikio said: “The broader amnesty package is critical for all to understand.
“This is because people equate the whole basket of incentives that the Federal Government rolled out at the time of the amnesty declaration to the amnesty programme.
“Amnesty programme is always mistaken for the Niger Delta Recovery Plan with many placing unrealistic expectations on the programme.
“It is a Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration programme, in essence a holding fort to create an enabling environment for peace to reign in the Niger Delta.
“It is pertinent to know that the Ministry of Niger Delta and the NDDC are saddled with infrastructure development in the Niger Delta; it is their core mandate.”
The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has revoked the training contract awarded to Express Concern International (ECN) for ex-agitators in its novel Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) scheme.
This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Neotabase Egbe, the Special Adviser, Media to the Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dikio (retd), made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Yenagoa.
It explained that the firm’s job was terminated for breaching the terms contained in the contract.
The statement is sequel to an allegation by a group, Concerned Indigenes of Oil Mineral Producing States Forum (CIOMPSF), that the company diverted funds it received from PAP.
Egbe said even before the group issued its statement, PAP had terminated the contracts of the defaulting firm.
He said the amnesty office had also activated its internal mechanism to retrieve the money it paid to the firm through a performance bond provided by the company.
The statement acknowledged the interests shown by various stakeholders in the affairs of PAP.
Egbe explained that under Dikio each job awarded by PAP was secured by a performance bond provided by the benefitting firm that enabled the amnesty office recover its money in an event of default by a contractor.
“The attention of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has been drawn to reports that a contractor, Express Concerns International Limited, has diverted money paid to them to train 90 ex-agitators in the agriculture value chain.
“Indeed, the PAP had contracted Express Concerns International Limited to train its beneficiaries. But the contract was terminated via a letter dated June 14th, 2022, because the contractor breached the terms of the agreement.
“Contracts are not awarded to just any body who submits a proposal, but to serious contractors, who have the capacity to deliver their contractual obligations.
“However, each job awarded by PAP has an insurance bond that ensures the scheme recovers its money in the event of default by contractors.
“Consequently, the PAP wrote to the guaranteeing company for the recovery of the mobilisation fee paid to the company.
“While the management of the PAP acknowledges the interests shown by various stakeholders in the affairs of PAP, let it be known that deliberate measures were put in place to reform contractual processes and block all loopholes that could be capitalised upon to dupe the programme.
“To all our concerned stakeholders and the general public, there is nothing to worry about as your concerns had been anticipated and taken care of through the various reforms initiated by the administration of Col. Dikio (rtd).
“We want to further assure all stakeholders that PAP’s contracts are designed for the benefits of the programme’s beneficiaries and not for the enrichment of any contractor,” the statement read in part. (
The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) in the Niger Delta says it has sent additional 450 ex-agitators to train in oil spill response, clean-up and remediation.
Its Interim Administrator, retired Col. Milland Dikio, said in a statement issued in Yenagoa on Sunday that the training is in line with PAP’s Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) template.
He said some of them would train in solar engineering, plumbing, electrical installations, marine, metal and wood works.
PAP had earlier sent 400 ex-agitators to various farms in the Niger Delta to learn agricultural skills, bringing the number of beneficiaries in recent times to 850.
Addressing the ex-agitators after a second batch of basic orientation course organised for them in Port Harcourt, Dikio stressed the importance of wealth creation and employment generation in the region.
He urged the beneficiaries to take their training seriously so as to become employable and also become employers.
Dikio maintained that the era of crying over lack of opportunities was over and appealed to them to take advantage of the training to secure their future.
He said that PAP was in a hurry to make new millionaires and billionaires in the Niger Delta.
The statement quoted an ex-agitator, Pastor Nature Dumale Kieghe who shared his experience with the beneficiaries as saying he became successful after shunning his old ways.
“I was rejected by even my own family members because of my lifestyle. I was a lost child.
“No one could ever believe that I could be saved, but here I am today with so much to show for turning around from my evil ways.
“I have travelled round the world, speaking to people about the dangers of engaging in destructive acts. You too can be like me if not better,’’ he said.
The statement was issued by Mr Neotabase Egbe, Special Adviser to Dikio.
The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) says it has sent 400 ex-agitators to various farms in the Niger Delta to achieve food sufficiency after hosting the beneficiaries to a four-day Basic Orientation Programme (BOC).
The PAP said the ex-agitators drawn from the various states in the Niger Delta concluded their course in two batches at the Nigerian Navy College of Engineering in Sapele, Delta, at the weekend before their formal deployment.
Retired Col. Milland Dixon Dikio, the Interim Administrator of PAP, stated this in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media, Mr Neotabase Egbe, made available to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Yenagoa.
According to Egbe, Dikio, while addressing the beneficiaries, said that the journey towards food security in the Niger Delta had commenced with the deployment.
He anticipate that there would be massive food production in the region, which would be exported to other states and countries to help change the economic fortunes of people of the Niger Delta.
Dikio said: “Our mission here is to create entrepreneurs or people who are employable. You must have an eye for what is possible. An entrepreneur does not look at problems, he looks and thinks solutions to the problems.
“So what problem are you trying to solve? The oil industry is technical, a lot of things people used to do with hands, they are doing it with computers.
“Those of you who are here have been assembled to be trained on modern farming. Farming is not a poor man’s work, that’s the first thing you should know. In the U.S, the largest concentration of millionaires are farmers.
“I have gone round most of the farms in the Niger Delta, most of them cannot meet up to 20 per cent of the market share, that is the demand.
“That is why food prices are going up. Now if you have a population that is going up, it means that there are more mouths to feed; so if you’re into farming you can never be broke.
“Somebody who wants to progress must be ready to learn.
“Another reason why we are sending you to be trained in farming is for the purpose of food security.”
The PAP boss appealed to the beneficiaries of the training to see it as a lifetime opportunity to secure their future, urging them not to give up no matter the circumstances.
“When you go to your training centres, calm down. You must be hungry for success. Despite any challenge, please resist the temptation to quit.
“You all will be assigned to different farms and those who pass will be employed. This is because it is a business entity that is not owned by the government. You would be taught how to run the business side of farming.
“When you finish, we will encourage you to form cooperatives to collectively create a market for people to easily identify with you. We will also encourage you to form clusters to easily access funds from financial institutions.
“We have looked at our situation in the Niger Delta and there is no excuse for anybody to be poor. You must have a business or provide services, otherwise as a salary earner you cannot be rich and this is not a curse but a fact,” Dikio said.
The statement alao quoted some of the participants at the PAP Basic Orientation Course (BOC) as saying that they were looking forward to the training and commended Dikio for his efforts in carving a new and prosperous future for them.
They assured that nothing would deter them from coming out successfully. (