Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has endorsed all the reforms embarked upon by the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) especially the new vision of its interim administrator, Col Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd), to transform the ex-agitators into entrepreneurs.
While appraising the administrative style of Dikio since his assumption of office, the forum observed that the beneficiaries of the programme and other critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta region had continued to speak well of his performance and visionary leadership.
The executive members of PANDEF led by its national chairman and former deputy chief whip of the senate, Senator Emmanuel Essien in a statement issued by the special adviser to the interim administrator of PAP on media, Neotaobase Egbe, after a courtesy call on the Amnesty Office in Abuja, commended Dikio’s new vision of transforming ex-agitators and beneficiaries of the programme into entrepreneurs and employable citizens to make them contributors to the economy of the region and the nation.
Senator Emmanuel Essien said to actualise the vision, Dikio introduced a new model of train, employ and mentor and the concept of constituting ex-agitators into cooperatives in the areas of maritime security, food security and maritime transport. “The new approach would help the ex-agitators break away from the fetters of dependency and crime, and PANDEF was happy that the administrator recently engaged some beneficiaries into the workforce of PAP”, he said.
Essien, who described the reforms as exemplary, said it would help to allay the fears over the employability and demeanor of ex-agitators and encourage other agencies and departments of government as well as the private sector to employ the beneficiaries.
He also applauded Dikio’s idea to set up the Strategic Communication Committee (SCC) to address issues of misinformation about the programme and the region. He appealed to the amnesty boss to consider setting up a proper monitoring and evaluation structure to validate the progress of the beneficiaries, projects and programmes of PAP.
In his response, Dikio harped on the need for partnership, saying that more positive results would be achieved if all stakeholders work as a team.
He said the conversation on the Niger Delta Recovery Plan must be broadened and that other aspects of the training must be explored, especially in the oil and gas sector, food and agriculture, maritime security and marine transport.