The presidential Amnesty Programme at the weekend, empowered 96 of its beneficiaries who had acquired skills in four trade areas with starter packs to enable them commence their respective businesses.
Various items including high capacity welding generators and accessories, cylinders, deep freezers, chairs and tables as well as bags of cement, among others, were given to the beneficiaries who had completed training in welding and fabrication, commodity shop management, building materials, and electrical/electronics.
Beneficiaries trained in welding and fabrication received complete equipment required to ply their trade, including a 250 Amps power-flex welding machine; 190/200amps start and weld generator, 25 ram welding cable, electrodes, welding helmet and gloves, among others, just as each of those empowered with building materials got 400 units of 50kg bags of cement, wheelbarrows, shovels, head pans, helmets, hoe, nose masks and 2.5hp Elemco generator.
Besides the items, shops were also rented for each of the beneficiaries and business names registered for them. Provision was also made for their business cards, letterheads, invoices and other business tools during the empowerment exercise which held simultaneously at the Wellington Hotel, Warri, and neighbouring Osubi community in Delta State.
Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, assured that training and empowerment of beneficiaries will run concurrently this year to improve on the over 2000 beneficiaries empowered in less than two years of his assumption of office.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to turn around the situation in the Niger Delta through aggressive human capital and infrastructural development. “We are working towards a situation where beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme would be empowered with the necessary tools to start business immediately they complete training. That way, they will not wait longer than necessary after training to engage in productive ventures and then fend for themselves”.
He urged recipients of the starter packs to use the items judiciously rather than disposing them for immediate gains.