60 Niger Delta Youths are currently undergoing a one-week fish processing and entrepreneurship induction course in Benin City, the Edo state capital, under the Federal Government’s Amnesty Programme .
The training programme, which is being organized under the auspices of the Federal Government in partnership with Obax Worldwide Limited kicked off on Sunday and will end this weekend.
Facilitator of the programme, Princess Ethel Eweka of Obax Worldwide Limited, told journalists that the training was part of Federal Government’s initiatives aimed at equipping and empowering the ex-militants for proper reintegration into the society.
Princess Eweka said, “Obax Worldwide Limited, which I represent would not just stop at training the 60 delegates, but go further to certify them and report back to government, with a view to continuing with the second and third phases which involves the empowerment proper (establishment of fish farm) and subsequently mentoring to guide them until they are able to stand on their own.
“The training is basically on entrepreneurship for fish farming and fish processing to equip the ex-militants before they are fully integrated into the society which the Federal Government asked us to collaborate with it in the task of empowering them.
“The Federal Government has approved the 60 candidates to be given theoretical training for one week, and thereafter, we will take them to the farm that is operational at Obax for practical and take them throughout processing.
These would be followed with empowerment proper which involves acquiring the fish farm and later monitor their progress,” she said.
Mr. David Ekesi, one of the facilitators who took the ex-militants on entrepreneurship class, told them that government expects them to acquire the knowledge so as to be able to sustain and expand their businesses after the training and empowerment.
Some of the participants, who spoke to newsmen at the venue, paid glowing tribute to the Federal Government for engaging them for the programme.
Among those who spoke were Ebiye Jacob, Adonkie Douye John and Seleton Mabiri who commended the government’s efforts in initiating the prodramme, just as they pleaded for its sustenance adding, “we appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that the
programme is not abandoned midway”.
Some of the participants, however, expressed displeasure over the way and manner they have been sidelined in the payment of Amnesty allowances, alleging that they are being tossed around while those in phase two and three are receiving their allowances and called on the presidency to wade into the issue.