IDPE: How PAP is strategically fighting poverty, encouraging self-reliance among ex-agitators in Niger Delta – Ndiomu

The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), has affirmed that its initiatives are tied to eradicating poverty in the Niger Delta Region, particularly in the lives of ex-agitators.

Speaking to journalists on Tuesday in Abuja, in commemoration of the International Day for Eradication of Poverty (IDEP), the Interim Administrator, Major General Barry Ndiomu (Rtd), said PAP under his leadership is creatively setting up opportunities to impact the lives of ex-agitators, beyond dependence on N65,000 monthly stipends.

Harping on this year’s theme of the Poverty Eradication Day – ‘Decent Work And Social Protection: Putting Dignity In Practice For All’, Ndiomu said the initiatives that the PAP has so far introduced, will create windows of opportunities for ex-agitators to escape the prediction of the World Bank which estimates that over the next decade, “one billion young people will try to enter the job market, but less than half of them will actually find formal jobs.”

Ndiomu noted that the already floated PAP Cooperative Scheme for ex-agitators, Empowerment/Vocational Trainings and many more initiatives that are still in the pipeline, will solve poverty and change the negative narratives of the region.

He added that over 700 ex-agitators have so far received funding in loans to undertake Agribusiness and other lucrative ventures, while 2500 applications are waiting to be processed.

He highlighted the 75 pilots and aircraft engineers sponsored by PAP to various Aviation Training Organisations (ATO’s) in Lagos (Nigeria), Johannesburg (South Africa) and Toulouse, (France) for type-rating courses as part of its aviation training scheme.

General Ndiomu recalled that when late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua instituted the Presidential Amnesty Programme in 2009, the age range of ex-agitators who laid down their arms, was between 25 to 30. 14 years later, he noted that they have now hit an unemployable age range of between 50 to 55 years.

With this reality in mind, Ndiomu downplayed PAP’s drive to channel the mindsets of ex-agitators away from formal employment and entiltlement mentality, towards more viable and sustainable means of livelihood.

The PAP Interim Administrator commended President Bola Tinubu for his determination to give further support and sustain the process, and give the PAP more life.

“The President has the interest of the Niger Delta at heart. We will work in line with his Renewed Hope Agenda to change the negative narratives of the region,” Ndiomu said.