The Presidential Amnesty Programme has empowered 1,271 beneficiaries from March 2018 to June, this year.
The beneficiaries, who had already been trained in various skills, were given empowerment packs in their respective trade areas to enable them start businesses to eke a living.
Murphy Ganagana, media aide to coordinator of the programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday.
He said areas in which the beneficiaries were empowered included building materials, fish farming, poultry, welding, pig farming, plastic technology, electronic stores, cassava farming, commodity shop, feed sales, among others.
According to him, the empowerment drive for beneficiaries drawn from all states in the Niger Delta is the result of efforts by Prof. Dokubo to ensure that already trained beneficiaries were fully engaged to fast-track development and deepen peace in the region.
A breakdown of the figure shows that 381 of the total number of beneficiaries empowered within 15 months of Dokubo’s assumption of office were on fish farming, while 351 got commodity shops. 118 were empowered on poultry; 164 on cement sales, 79 on welding and 42 on pig farming.
The empowered beneficiaries are among 4,269 scheduled for engagement on completion of their training in various vocational skills, and the exercise continues based on available funds.
In the same vein, a total of 1, 601 beneficiaries have completed training in various skills within the period under review, out of 4, 014 allocated to specialized training vendors. Beneficiaries on queue will take their turn as soon as funds are made available.
The already trained beneficiaries acquired skills in fish and poultry farming; Greenhouse farming; tailoring and fashion design, mechanized rice farming and agribusiness.
Others include transformer repair/maintenance; pig farming, automobile, aquaculture and snail farming; shoe making/leather works, and ICT, among others.
In line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s mandate to retool and refocus the Amnesty Programme to its original mandate, Dokubo has assured on his determination to ensure that vocational training centres in Rivers, Delta, Bayelsa, Edo and Ondo states are completed and activated for massive training of beneficiaries who are yet to undergo training.