THE Presidential Amnesty Office has commenced its entrepreneurship scheme with 300 former agitators in the Niger Delta.
Speaking at their graduation ceremony in Lagos at the weekend, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Kingsley Kuku, said the pilot scheme was for beneficiaries that had completed their training in various vocations.
Kuku, who was represented by the Technical Assistant on Reintegration, Mr. Larry Pepple, explained that the scheme was designed to equip and prepare the amnesty beneficiaries to become self-reliant and employers of labour.
According to him, rather than leave them idle after completing their vocational training, a three-week intensive entrepreneurship programme was designed for them preparatory to commencing their own businesses.
He added: “For those in this pilot post-training entrepreneurship scheme, we are about to put them through a process where they can create their own small business places. We will brand it, give them branded equipment, seed money and see them become owners of small businesses scattered around the Niger Delta or any place they choose to do business in Nigeria.”
He, however, stated that there would be a 12-month monitoring and evaluation period for the beneficiaries when they were expected to maintain log books and monthly reporting to see if they were growing in the business.
This, he further explained, would ensure that they go into profitable ventures without nursing the fear of failure.
“We are collaborating with some banks to ensure proper funding and monitoring of the scheme. Beneficiaries will not be given cash but they will be required to state their business location, which will then be paid for and properly equipped with the tools or items for their chosen business,” he stated.
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