Niger Delta leaders have urged the Federal Government to adequately fund and sustain the Presidential Amnesty Programme to maintain peace and fast-track development in the region.
While reviewing the impact of the interventionist Programme since its creation in 2009, leaders of the hitherto restive region said it has helped to stabilize the security situation, increased crude oil production output and boosted the nation’s revenue.
This is just as they commended Prof. Charles Dokubo, Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme for his demonstration of passion and commitment towards achieving the objectives for which it was created.
Rights activist and respected Ijaw leader, Elder Timi Kaiser-Wilhelm Ogoriba, said the Federal Government should sustain the Amnesty Programme in view of its immense benefits to the people of Niger Delta and the nation’s economy.
“This programme has to stay. It has to stay because if as at yesterday your oil production quota was low, and because of the programme, it has become high, then you have to maintain the momentum. Thank God the people that are running the Programme are in tune with the ideas that formed the bedrock of the formation of the Programme”, Ogoriba said.
He added: “Prof. Charles Dokubo who has taken over from past coordinators and leaders is continuing the programme the way we want it; we have to be thankful to him. Some persons could have come and derail it. But there is no derailment. And because of the fact that the Programme is old enough, 10 years now, we have to be seen as improving upon it regularly, including its funding.”
In the same vein, another Niger Delta leader Chief Anavs Sara-Igbe expressed joy that efforts of the initiators of the Amnesty Programme has yielded results and hope of the Niger Delta people for a better tomorrow has been rekindled.
“We are beginning to see the impacts of the Programme in the region. For that reason, we need to thank President Muhammadu Buhari who in his magnanimity, found it very necessary to continue with the Programme. We thank all those who have been supportive to this Programme from beginning to this time. Particularly, we thank Prof. Charles Dokubo for his giant strides in uplifting the people of Niger Delta through training and empowerment. I think it is a very good thing that the government must continue. We are appealing to the government to continue this programme. This Programme is not only good for the Niger Delta people; it is also very good for the Nigerian economy. With this Programme, the economy is stable, and the Federal Government is generating more money”.
Also speaking, frontline Niger Delta activist, Chief James Evah, said leaders of the region were happy to see their sons and daughters being trained and empowered. He called for expansion of the Amnesty Programme to accommodate more persons.
“We want all unemployed youth in the Niger Delta to be part of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, and it is possible. President Muhammadu Buhari is in love with this Programme; he should inject more funds into it. Amnesty is giving its best to our people, and we want adequate funding. If that is done, the sky will not even be the limit of the Programme; it will be the beginning”.
NDDC contractors fled with mobilisation fees, says lawmaker
Three Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) contractors absconded after collecting mobilisation fees in 2012, House of Representatives Minority Leader Ndudi Elumelu said on Wednesday.
He urged the House to investigate Ninno Engineering Nigeria Limited, Petrogas Specialists Services Limited and Quintus Investment Company Nigeria Limited.
The lawmaker alleged that they abandoned the construction of Onicha-Uku/Idumuje and Onicha-Uku/Idumu-Ogo roads and Onicha-Uku civic centre after being mobilised.
The lawmaker said the NDDC awarded Ninno Engineering the construction of Onicha-Uku/Idumuye Unor link road.
The commission gave Quintus Investment Company the Onicha-Uku/Idumu-Ogo link road project, and awarded Petrogas Specialist the Onicha-Uku civic centre construction in 2012.
The contracts, he said, were to be executed within three months.
Elumelu said none of the contracts has been executed, even as the land allocated for the civic centre has been overgrown with weeds.
According to him, the failure to complete the projects has hampered the region’s socio-economic activities and brought hardship on the indigenes.
He said efforts to bring the contractors back to work were unsuccessful, while fees paid to them have not been refunded.
Elumelu said the contractors’ excuse was that they were not given sufficient funds to execute the projects.
The House, therefore, directed its Committee on NDDC to summon the agency’s management and the contractors.
It is to find out the level of work done vis-a-vis the amount released so far.
DESOPADEC Board Chairman, Michael Diden in trouble as group institutes suit to nullify his appointment
The Registered Trustees of Centre
for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (CHURAC) have instituted a lawsuit to nullify the appointment of Hon. Michael Diden (aka Ejele) as Chairman of the Board of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC.
This newspaper understands that the group, CHURAC and its registered trustees who are the claimants sought the nullification of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s appointment of Ejele as Chairman of the oil commission.
The suit which was filed against Governor of Delta State and 3 other persons has Suit No. W/154/2019.
Among other reliefs, the human rights body is seeking a declaration nullifying the appointment of Hon. Michael Diden as Chairman of the Board of DESOPADEC.
The matter is slated for hearing at the High Court of Delta State sitting in Warri on the 19th of August, 2019.
Gbenga Daniel honoured, coaches youth on leadership, self independence
The celebrated former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, has continued to be an inspiration to the younger generation through his intentional dedication of his time and resources with a true belief that they are indeed tomorrow’s future.
A typical example of this came to the fore when OGD, as popularly called, took a break and graced an event organised by the vibrant youths of University of Lagos to sensitise and empower their peers about leadership and entrepreneurship.
The event, third annual Young Leaders Entrepreneurship conference (YOLEC) for young leaders by producers of Sparklight Entrepreneurship Show, took place on Saturday, 3rd August, 2019 at the Afe Babalola Hall, University of Lagos as expected, with this year’s edition themed ‘An entrepreneurial mindset: A Solution to the high Unemployment Rate in Nigeria’.
The keynote address was delivered by Engr. Obed Ikem, a project manager with Exxon-mobil, while the CEO of Cars 45 also shared the experiment and risks his company took before becoming a foremost leader in the business community.
Dr.Sunday Adebisi, Associate Professor in the department of Business Administration and Acting Director Entrepreneurship and Skills Development Center University of Lagos who told the audience that the Senate of the University is serious about producing good products but with solid entrepreneur mindset.
The Chairman of the event, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, while appreciating the organisers’ efforts in putting the event together, mentored the youth on the importance of leadership training and how youth could be financially independent becoming entrepreneurs.
“Above all, if you look at the lives of successful entrepreneurs in the world, there is one thing that’s common to them all,” Daniel said.
“It’s perseverance. None of them gave up at any point in time.”
He, therefore, advised them to be tenacious in pursuing their dreams.
In appreciation, the students jointly presented the former governor with an award for his support and being a source of inspiration them.
The convener, Tosin Adesile, also thanked Otunba Gbenga Daniel for always being available to impact the next generation.
Participants which include students, corps members and unemployed graduates enjoyed several opportunities such as CV review, mentoring session and learnt digital skills and technologies like data science and analytics, cyber-security, cloud computing, block chain and more.