Oscarline Onwuemenyi, with agency reports
18 July 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd.), has remarked President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is committed to a peaceful and developed Niger Delta region.
Boroh, who is also the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, told the journalists in New York on Wednesday that this commitment has encouraged investors movement into the region.
He said, “The impact of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in the Niger Delta region has been very satisfactory and encouraging because the ex-agitators have imbibed that culture of ensuring peace.
“This is to allow for growth in the region and they are happy about it because a lot of valuable entrepreneurship programmes are ongoing in the entire Niger-Delta region. Their (ex-agitators) morale is high and they are happy.
He noted that, “The main reason the Niger-Delta is stable today is because of the total commitment of the President, Muhammadu Buhari, in ensuring that the Niger-Delta is peaceful, stable. This is mainly to allow for development in the region.
“The president is very concerned about the region – that it has not developed the way he expected. That is why candidly speaking, all that I ask for, he approves. It is more so because he’s very committed to ensuring development in the region.
“And while he gives me the support to achieve his commitment, the stakeholders of the Presidential Amnesty Programme are also in total support of the administration. We meet from time to time and they pledge their loyalty, they are happy with the way the programme is being conducted.
“And they are ready to ensure that they support the administration and the programme until we achieve the result for which it was established.”
According to Boroh, “Each time I go to discuss with the ex-agitators and the youth, they pledge their loyalty and support to the present administration. This is so that the administration can continue the good things it is doing because of the commitment of Mr President in ensuring peace, stability and development in the region.
“The Niger Delta today is stable, peaceful and expecting investors moving there and help in adding value to the region.”
He added that well over 5,000 ex-agitators have benefited within the past two years in critical areas of aviation, maritime, oil and gas and agriculture.
The amnesty coordinator said agriculture was now the main focus of the programme in line with the government’s economic diversification strategy.
“This is to ensure that the ex-agitators imbibe the details of the new agricultural policy so that they can be professional farmers at the end of the day.
“This will create massive job opportunities, ensure that there’s food security in the region and the country at large and again, enhance our financial position. Niger Delta is stable and investors are moving in to continue their business,” Boroh said.
The presidential aide also explained that the programme has a terminal phase but that the ex-agitators would be empowered before the final phase.
“The programme has a timeline to phase out. It has to do with ensuring that the ex-agitators that are in the programme are adequately trained and empowered so that they can leave and this is ongoing.”