The Presidential Amnesty Programme is set to train 500 former militant youths from the Niger Delta in various agriculture-related skills.
The Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Paul Boroh, who said this on Friday at the graduation of ex-militant trainee pilot scheme at the Bio Resources Development Centre, Odi, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, noted it was another means of engaging the youths in the sector.
He described the pilot scheme as a success, saying the potential that abound in agriculture was very high.
He said some of the ex-militants would be sent to Songhai Farms in Delta State, while others would be deployed to the various agriculture programme departments at the Delta State University, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, and the Peremabiri Rice Farms in the state.
Boroh regretted the nation’s overdependence on oil, saying agriculture remains a better alternative in the Federal Government’s diversification programme.
He said, “The shift from reliance on agriculture to overreliance on oil income has had a tremendous impact on agriculture and the localities where crude petroleum is found.
“It has become the harbinger of hunger, starvation, unemployment and ecosystem degradation and that is the bottom line of the resource-based conflict in the Niger Delta.”