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By EMAMEH GABRIEL
The coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof Charles Dokubo, disclosed at the weekend, that about 16,000 beneficiaries have graduated from training sponsored by the programme.
He described the Amnesty programme which has a mandate to train and re-integrate 30,000 enlisted beneficiaries, as having a bright future for Niger Delta youths.
Speaking on Friday at the grand finale of the first Amnesty Programme culinary skills competition and empowerment in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, Dokubo said the event was just one of the various steps taken by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to re-integrate beneficiaries of the programme into society.
“This is the first of its kind since Amnesty started. The Amnesty programme started with the training and re-integration of 30,000 beneficiaries, some from war torn and conflict society, back to the mainstream in our development. What we are witnessing here today is just one of the various steps we have taken to re-integrate people into society. We are told that the Chinese have conquered the world with their culinary effect, but here we are telling the world that Amnesty has done more than that to capture the entire Nigeria”
He expressed optimism that the competition will also throw light into what Amnesty Programme can do. “Amnesty trains people, and we have graduated up to 16,000 beneficiaries. There are a lot of people in vocational training and even in universities abroad; we are doing that to empower our people back to society, to enhance development in the Niger Delta. The programme is for all those in the Niger Delta, impacted and afflicted by conflict and have been accepted by the federal government into this programme”.
The grand finale of the competition which preceded a boot camp in which 22 beneficiaries of the Amnesty programme trained in culinary arts participated, recorded a star winner, Ms Ofoba Davies, among eight contestants. She clinched the first prize after beating three other finalists, Ibiwari Isaiah, Ibinabo Franks and Mary George Pepple.
Various sums in cash and cheque between N800, 000 and N200, 000 were presented to the winner and runners up as part of an empowerment package which included four packs of set of breakable flat and deep bowls; four packs of set of 24 cutlery, four industrial gas burner, oven and 12kg cylinder plus medium kerosene stoves and chest freezer.
Also in the starter packs for the beneficiaries are Sumec 3000 power generating set; 22 inch flat screen television, six sets of plastic tables and chairs, 1.5 hp air conditioner and industrial fan; sets of large, medium and small cookware, deep fryer, microwave and grill ovens, among other items.
Source; Leadership Newspaper