Fresh initiatives to fast-track the training and empowerment of ex-Niger Delta agitators enlisted in the Presidential Amnesty Programme received a boost at the weekend, with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), and the Amnesty Office in Abuja.
The project partnership, which is for a period of three years, is aimed at transforming beneficiaries of the amnesty programme, including those to be deployed to UNITAR into successful professionals, whether in the public or private sector, and linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reduce poverty by 2030.
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, described the event as a very auspicious moment to synergise and work in concert with UNITAR, an agency of the United Nations, which he said, has the required capacity in the training and empowerment of beneficiaries of the Programme.
The component of UNITAR programmes, covered by the MOU includes, Sea- farers’ certificate and national diploma course; subsea welding programme, Agribusiness Skills Training Programme, as well as empowerment and job placements for trained delegates.
While noting that job placement, which is a critical factor in the reintegration component of the Programme, had not been successful in the past, Dokubo expressed optimism that the partnership with UNITAR will yield positive results.
The Country Head and Representative, UNITAR Office in Nigeria, Dr. Lawrence Boms, in his remarks said “It is important because of the knowledge that we acquire through partnership; external and extra sponsorship that we get for partnering and sharing ideas. This is why this is great for us, partnering with the Amnesty Office and the extra collaboration that we’re bringing from our partners such as Norway who we work closely with and other agencies.”