The Presidential Amnesty Programme Cooperative Society Limited has commenced the disbursement of the second tranche of loans to ex-agitators in the Niger Delta.
Speaking at the flag-off of the event, the Interim Administrator of the programme, Major-General Barry Ndiomu (retd.), said the move was in fulfillment of the earlier promise made by the PAP that more people would be captured in the scheme.
Represented by his Special Assistant on Special Duties, Mr Thomas Peretu, he explained that with the commencement of the exercise, the number of entrepreneurs being created by the PAP would increase adding that the scheme would help to create more jobs and reduce poverty in the Niger Delta.
A statement signed by the PACOSOL Management Consultant, Zigha Ayibakuro, and sent to journalists said Ndiomu expressed the hope that the beneficiaries would make good use of the loan disclosing that the scheme was running simultaneously with the other empowerment training programmes and initiatives of the PAP.
Ndiomu stated, “This loan is just one aspect of the entire programme that will give the beneficiaries a sustainable means of livelihood and also for them to become employers of labour.
“Don’t forget that other initiatives are also ongoing. The scholarship programme, the vocational and aviation training. These are deliberate efforts to change the story of the people of the region.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of the PACOSOL Management Board, Justice Francis Tabai (read), who spoke through a member of the board, General Emmanuel Salubi (retd.), said the scheme was designed to discourage the over-dependence on the monthly N65,000 stipend.
He said, “The N65,000 monthly stipend is not enough to sustain them and their family. And so this is the best thing for them.
“To embrace entrepreneurship so that they can make more money for themselves and contribute to the GDP of the region and country.
“What we did as the management of the scheme was to also introduce mentorship for them to guide their operations and show them the way to succeed in their different businesses. This way it will be difficult for them to fail.”