By ADEROGBA GEORGE
ABUJA- The Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (rtd), has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for adequately funding the programme to deliver on its mandate.
Ndiomu gave the commendation in a media conference in Abuja.
According to him, the current administration under the leadership of President Buhari has done exceedingly well in funding the PAP and had given it sufficient resources.
“Buhari have financed the programme in a timely manner and that is why we have been able to pay stipends to the ex-agitators.
“We are probably the first government agency every month, that’s able to pay stipends or remuneration.
“So I can assure you that except for failures of payment system, which is nobody’s fault, it’s just based on technology. By the 20th of every month, stipends are paid,” he said.
On entrepreneurship, the PAP boss said that there were some initiatives that with the passing of the 2023 budget, the programme would set up cooperatives.
According to him, the idea behind the cooperatives will be for these same ex-agitators who will become the administrators and managers of their own destinies. We will attach experts to these cooperatives.
“We will finance the cooperatives so they have access to microcredit loans, along with consultants to advise them on whatever initiatives and businesses, entrepreneurship skills, so that they can do things to improve their individual economic situations.
“They can develop businesses from car wash bathing saloon. No matter what it is, they should be able to draw finance from this cooperatives that we’re about to establish, which will be adequately funded.
“We are also thinking about setting up fishing trolling companies, which will entail procuring fishing trawlers. what will interest you is that some of the most expensive prawns and crabs are taken from Rivers or Costal waters, and Nigerians are not benefiting from it.
“And the Niger Delta people lived all their lives along the coastline. This is something we should encourage our people to get engaged, in,” he said.
On the Pipeline Surveillance Contract reeled out by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Ltd., the PAP boss insisted that the PAP office should have been carried along in the process.
“I think there was a mistake. I have expressed this already privately and emphasise privately to the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the NNPC Ltd.
“I am waiting for his response because I believe that the ex-agitators should be given the opportunity to be involved in the protection and surveillance of pipelines within the Niger Delta,” he said. (NAN)