The Nigerian Diaspora Professionals Forum (NDPF) has commended President Mohammadu Buhari for what has been described as a determined effort to sustain the amnesty program to improve security and stability in the Niger Delta.
Addressing journalists at the departure wing of the PortHarcourt International Airport, Rivers State, the Vice President of the organisation Dr. Abdalla Hussein confirmed that a seven-man fact-finding mission visited the Nigeria delta to assess the security situation.
According to him “ we came on a verification mission in Niger Delta to see things for ourselves. We say development challenges, but we were glad to note that in the past four years one hardly hears about the destruction of oil installation and organised confrontation and conflict in this region.
“We have visited the nine states in the region, and we shall be heading to Abuja later today. We want to learn more about the development challenges in the region, the amnesty program and how the Buhari administration has managed to sustain peace so far. It is clear to all stakeholders that we need peace for investment and development” he added.
Speaking in the same light, one of the members of the delegation Mr. Abiye Davies confirmed that the group visited several vocational training centres build by the program in several locations like Gelegele in Edo State, Bomadi in Delta State and Oboama in Rivers State.
According to him “ the Niger Delta Amnesty Program has achieved so much and has become an important example that many resource rich African countries can learn from. With the implementation of the program now in the Integration phase, the ex-agitators who were formerly involved in conflict have become gainfully employed and can now go back into society as responsible citizens.
It will be recalled that earlier in the year, the former Group Managing Director of Nigeria’s National Oil Company, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr. Maikanti Baru confirmed an increase in the country’s oil production has moved to 2.32 million barrels per day.
The news comes as a big boost to the government’s revenue projection in the N8.92 trillion 2019 budget signed recently by President Muhammadu Buhari. The budget, signed into law on May 27, was based on a target of 2.3 million barrels per day (b/d) oil production and $60 per barrel price. A major reason for this boost is that most of the ex-agitators were absorbed in the amnesty program.
After several allegations of leakages and theft of funds by the former leadership of the program, a new coordinator, Charles Dokubo, a former research Professor at Nigeria Institute of International Studies was appointed by President Buhari. Since taking over the mantle leadership, the renowned technocrat has made efforts insist on due process and restore transparency in the implementation of the program which brought back the confidence of stakeholders. He has vigorously pursued the masterplan that led to exit of many beneficiaries who are now gainfully employed saving government millions of naira.
Recently the program was audited by the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) and handed it a clean bill of health. Despite his efforts, many mischief makers have continued to sponsor faceless individuals and groups to spread lies and propaganda meant to sabotage his efforts and divert attention from his numerous transformative achievements.
This was part of the reasons why the NDPF volunteers to undertake a fact-finding visit. Many of us are from the Niger Delta and we can now see a clear difference between social media driven fake news and reality on group. We note that despite the efforts of successive administration to develop the region that produces majority of Nigeria’s oil, poverty and human capital deficits persist.
It is expected that a confidential report shall be submitted to the President, the National Security Adviser and the Niger Delta Minister after which the delegation is expected to depart Nigeria to Takorodi, Ghana.