The coordinator of the presidential amnesty programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, has said that about 16,000 beneficiaries have graduated under the programme.
Dokubo who stated this at the grand finale of the first culinary skills competition and empowerment in Calabar, Cross River State, said the programme has a mandate to train and re-integrate 30,000 enlisted beneficiaries of Niger Delta origin.
He said the event was one of the various steps taken by the federal government to re-integrate beneficiaries into the society.
“This is the first of its kind since Amnesty started. The amnesty programme started with the training and re-integration of 30,000 beneficiaries, some from war torn and conflict society back to the mainstream in our development. What we are witnessing here today is just one of the various steps we’ve taken to re-integrate people into society. We are told that the Chinese have conquered the world with their culinary effect, but here, we are telling the world that amnesty has done more than that to capture the whole of Nigeria.
“The fact is that we have to train people, empower them and bring them back to the society where they truly belong and it has not been easy. I took over this office at the third phase which is the re-integration process, where you build destroyed societies, build new infrastructure, setup communities that have been dislocated by conflicts and impacted by the effect of other environmental disasters. I strongly believe the step we’ve taken today is just the beginning; beginning in the sense that we will continue to project the work of amnesty programme to every nook and cranny of this country to show that people could be brought back from wherever they are and also re-integrated into the society,” he said.He expressed optimism that the competition will also throw light into what amnesty programme can do.
“Amnesty trains people, and we have graduated up to 16,000 beneficiaries. There are a lot of people in vocational training and even in universities abroad; we are doing that to empower our people back to society, to enhance development in the Niger Delta.
“The programme is for all those in the Niger Delta impacted and afflicted by conflict and have been accepted by the federal government into this programme,” he said.