The planned training of ex-agitators at the Bio-Diversity Resource Institute, Odi ,in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, Bayelsa State ,has been identified as a step in the right direction as it would produce entrepreneurs of the benefitting ex-militants in the Niger Delta region.
This, the leader of the Third Phase Amnesty, General Gift Alex, said while briefing journalists at the Bio-Diversity Resource Institute, at Odi , Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area. Alex, who appreciated the diversity at the institute, said after the training, beneficiaries would have learnt various skills to set up their enterprise and also, become employers of labour.
According to him, the ex-agitators would learn how to cultivate high yield mushroom both in subsistence and commercial quantity, particularly, because of the high demand in both domestic and international market.
Extolling the presidential adviser on the amnesty programme, Brigadier-General Paul Boroh (retd), for the agro-base training, Alex said that even if the ex-agitators choose to farm only on the high yield plantain and banana suckers that has a turnover between three to six months at the expiration of their training, they would earn a comfortable living and also make a lot of profit from both plantain and banana, as well as its byproducts.
The leader of the Third Phase, said that snail, grass cutter and fish farming is also in high demand locally, which could also be exported if well packaged, adding that the demand for grass cutter is very high, He, however, appealed to the Federal Government to support the beneficiaries at the end of the programme with funds to purchase equipment to process juice that could be extracted from sugarcane and other produce from the bio-institute farms.
Alex stressed that the serene atmosphere at the institute, particularly, the hostel, lecture theatre, dining room and the Information Communication TESCNOLOGY Centre (ICT) would aid learning and acquisition of knowledge
He said that with the fall in price of crude oil, agriculture is the way forward as it would create food security, job and empower graduating students at the end of the programme. Alex said that the programme would also stimulate the economy as it would outlaw saboteurs of the nation’s assets and oil theft in the troubled Niger Delta region.
On the establishment of a liaison office in Yenagoa, Alex said it has bridge the gap between them and the office in Abuja, adding that it would redress incessant protest for want of place to lay genuine complains as they arises, as well as the logistics associated with travelling to Abuja to seek audience with the amnesty office.
Also, General Ingia Wuru and Oscar Jackson also described Boroh as a visionary leader for 836 ex-agitators that has benefited from the Presidential Amnesty Programme; and the issuance of cassava milling machines, building materials, fish and poultry farming implement, timber and sawmill, cinematography, fashion, wielding and fabrication tools to enable them start their business.
He, however, noted that violence and protest is not a veritable means to channel their grievances, even as he appealed to the Presidential Amnesty Coordinator to expedite the release of stipends owed the third phase ex-agitators.