Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
As the world marked the United Nations 2017 International Youth Day saturday, the federal government has warned youth in the country, especially beneficiaries of the amnesty programme in the Niger Delta region to prepare for life after oil.
Speaking at a forum to mark the event in Port Harcourt, the Presidential Adviser on the Amnesty Programme, Gen Paul Boro, called on the Niger Delta youths to prepare for life after oil by making use of the skills, knowledge and experience they gained while undergoing training.
The forum was put in place by a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Nevido Media in collaboration with the NOA with the support of the Nigerian Youth Council and other bodies.
Boro called for paradigm shift in thinking and focus among the youths and beneficiaries of the amnesty, saying, â€œsince it has become clear that oil will not last forever, there is need to prepare the youths for the future.â€
He noted that the federal amnesty programme had the mandate to train 30,000 youths, out of which it had already trained 16,000.
Represented by the Head, monitoring and evaluation in the federal amnesty, Mr. Bestman Probel, Boro explained that this was why â€œthe youths have been drawn into training in agriculture and skills while an exit programme whereby the youths after training are mobilised to start practicing the trade they learntâ€™â€™.
In his remarks the Rivers state Director of NOA, Mr. Oliver Wolugbom, expressed concern that Nigerian youths have abandoned the old cherished value system and taken to kidnapping, cultism, armed robbery, thuggery and other odious practices that debase humanity.
â€œIt is equally a source of concern that all the centrifugal forces such as separatist movements by ethnic bodies and their accompanying hate speeches are being bandied by the youthsâ€, he said, adding that for peace to be built in the society, the youths must be properly positioned while the leadership re-strategise to plan