Presidential Amnesty Program to empower 2,500 Niger Delta youths on fishing, seafood production

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TRACKING >The Federal Government has concluded plans to commence the empowerment of 2,500 Niger Delta youths in the areas of industrial fishing and production of associated sea foods.

The Special Adviser to the President on the Niger Delta, Prof. Charles Dokubo disclosed this while speaking to journalists in his Abuja office.

He stated that the commencement of the programme is coming after the official launch last month, of the National Development Program for the Establishment of Industrial Fishing and Associated Seafood Production by President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, adding that the programme is aimed at helping the target beneficiaries become self sufficient as well as employers of labour in the country.

Prof. Dokubo expressed satisfaction that the project is in line with a deliberate effort by government to promote diversification of the economy beyond oil.

“The project provides a clear convergence of domestic development and national security objectives while catalysing large volumes of foreign direct investment into the country.

This is the first time that a large volume of our ex-agitators will be offloaded to full employment at once. The assurance that they will be EU certified means that they can work anywhere in the world beyond our shores.

“It creates a regional architecture that places emphasis on stability, economic and sustainable development.

In the long term, it will position Nigeria to contribute more meaningfully to a market-driven blue economy framework for growth and prosperity within the Gulf of Guinea,” he stated.

According to schedule of activities leading to the full commencement of the programme, a delegation of the Federal Government would be departing for Greece and Costa Rica on a Facility Inspection as part of the implementation of the project.

This is in line with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed to establish an industrial fishing and processing company in a joint venture run by a consortium of Greek and Nigerian Partners led by the Presidential Amnesty Program.

The delegation will be made up of the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta (OSAPND), the Office of the Vice President (OVP), the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (EGRP), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), House Committee on Niger Delta, Africa Atlantic Gulf of Guinea Fisheries Limited (AGGF) and Concept Amadeus Limited (CAL).

The Office of the Special Adviser to the President on the Niger Delta (OSAPND) and the Lead Consultants Messer Concept Amadeus Limited (CAL) signed an MoU on the 27th November, 2017 on the above captioned matter.

Reacting on the proposed visit, the Chairman/CEO of Concept Amadeus Limited, Prince Patrick Osobase praised the commitment of the Federal Government through the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

“I praise the commitment of the government for supporting the incubation of this project through the ERGP. I am excited that when we start, it will provide employment for youth from the Niger Delta and contribute to the reduction of illegal fishing in the Gulf of Guinea.

Both the construction of the trawlers and citing the production facility in the country will catalyse technology transfer that will lead to quantum multiplier effect on our domestic economy,” he said.

It is projected that 2,500 youths will be trained here in Nigeria by the University of Patras, a Greek University specializing in Fisheries and Aquaculture Technology.

At the end of the 3 months Training, they will be awarded European Union (EU) Certificates in Fishing.

Furthermore, the Greek Partners will build the Boats locally as directed by the ERGP during consultations. In effect, a Boat Building Yard would be set up in the Niger Delta for a 25 year period.

Fisheries play a significant social and nutritional role in Africa. The sector contributes to food, nutrition, security and provides jobs particularly for coastal populations which are often among the poorest and most vulnerable.

On the average globally, fish and fish products account for 18% of animal protein intake. Nigeria spends an estimated USD1 billion dollars importing fish and fish products into the country annually. This project, in addition is expected to lead to a considerable reduction of this expenditure.

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