Published On: Thu, Aug 17th, 2017

AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION WILL PRECEDE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION IN NIGER DELTA – AMNESTY BOSS

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Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (Rtd.) has described the on-going agricultural revolution as a precursor to the anticipated industrialization in the Niger Delta region, adding that “the burden of fixing Nigeria’s economy has fallen squarely on all of us”.

Represented by his aide from the post training unit of the Amnesty Office, Mr. Highcoast Umbe, during the graduation of 100 Amnesty delegates, trained in poultry and fishery, at Songhai Farms in Delta state, Gen. Boroh lamented that “though our economy is blessed with series of natural resources, yet we suffer in the midst of plenty”, pointing out that agriculture will attract Foreign Direct Investment and reduce the high level of unemployment, with a view to reducing the over-reliance on crude oil.

According to the Amnesty boss, “Currently, Nigeria has over 80% of arable land, but unfortunately, less than 40% of that land is cultivated, hence, the need to reform the agricultural sector”.

He said “since its inception in 2009, the Presidential Amnesty Programme has succeeded in training a number of Niger Delta youths in diverse skills, which have improved their lives and that of the impacted communities”, pointing out that with the new challenges facing the country and in line with the present administration’s focus on agriculture, the Presidential Amnesty Office is poised to exploring agriculture to meaningfully engage ex-agitators in the Niger Delta region”.

He noted that agriculture has been regarded in recent times as the most viable route with which Nigeria can successfully meander through her current economic dilemma, saying that “prior to the discovery of crude oil in Oloibiri in 1956, agriculture was the mainstay of the economy, being the highest earner of Foreign Exchange for the country; making Nigeria to be largely self-sufficient in food production then”.

While admonishing the delegates to put into practice what they have learnt during the one month intensive course in poultry and fishery to enhance food production and sustainability, Gen. Boroh, noted that “the increasing attention of the private investor in agriculture is a testimony to the fact that there is a lot of opportunity in the Sector”, just as he assured them that “the next phase of your programme will involve the provision of the necessary facilities for all of you to establish and manage your areas of specialization”.

Also speaking, the vendor, Mrs. Wejinya Stella, in her remarks, commended the Presidential Amnesty Office under the able leadership Gen. Boroh, whom she described as “dynamic, amiable, quintessential, lovely and visionary Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta/Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme” for his foresight to train and empower Niger Delta youths through such a sustainable program that has come to stay.

Mrs. Wejinya Stella added, “We are presenting these Niger Delta youths to you today, as trained, refined and ready to go into full scale production as agric-entrepreneurs. The Training programme and the prospects from the acquired knowledge and skills have guaranteed a ready market for increased agricultural production in the Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole”, she maintained.

According to her, “The best way to make a man or woman to be responsible is to give them a responsibility. Therefore, you have set a pace for them to be responsible by giving them a responsibility in Agriculture”.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Engr. Useni A. Ighofinimo, who thanked Gen. Boroh for bringing the training programme to Songhai Farms Delta, passed a vote of confidence on the 100 delegates for their excellent performance, both in classroom and during the practical sessions, saying that the delegates conducted themselves responsibly all through the training period.

Speaking on behalf of his colleagues, a delegate, Mr. James Brisibe thanked the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for restoring hopes that were long lost through the various empowerment packages for trained delegates, even as he emphasized the need for prompt implementation of the empowerment phase of the training.

Facts Compiled/Written By Gbaboyor Jude & Piriye Kiyaramo

For Head, Media and Communication Department

August 10th, 2017

 

 

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