Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
Hopes that the fishing sector will rebound soon flickered Tuesday with the arrival of eight Greek experts in the maritime industry to train 2,500 beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme. The project initiated by the Presidential Amnesty Office is expected to be launched soon.
In a statement by his spokesman, Murphy Ganagana, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, was quoted as expressing hope that the project, which includes the building of 100 fishing trawlers in Burutu, Delta State, for training of the Amnesty beneficiaries, will enhance their capabilities and strengthen business in Nigeria, particularly the Niger Delta region.
Dokubo, while receiving a delegation of eight top managers of leading fishing institutions in Greece at his office on Tuesday urged them to replicate what they had put in place in their country.
According to him, “I have sat through most of your discussions and you have explained to me the techniques and the method of how you do your own business. I want that to be replicated in Nigeria and in the Niger Delta, because we are a sea faring people.
“So, we hope that this new concept will work well for our communities and for the Niger Delta people so that the best that we can offer will enhance our capabilities and also strengthen the business and sea faring lives of our delegates.”
Earlier, George Theodoru, the Managing Director, Theo-Man Limited, managers of the project, assured that the prospective beneficiaries would be professionally trained on how to operate state-of-the-art boats, which will serve as a means of livelihood for them, their families and communities in the Niger Delta.
He added, “As project managers, we will organise the whole operation, consult the parties involved on progress made, and supervise each party for smooth deliveries. Above all, we are responsible for the technical consultancy to deliver good boats; to keep them working in good condition and maintenance.”
Theodoru hinted that a study on a processing factory, including structures and facilities necessary for preparation of raw fish harvested for local consumption and export, has reached advanced stage.
“So we are now offering a complete solution, starting from educated fishermen to professionalism, modern equipment, choice of profitable catches, transportation and preservation”, he assured.
The project, which is driven under a Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) has the Presidential Amnesty Office, Concept Amadeus Limited, Akewa Global Services Limited (AGS) and four Greek companies as partners. The foreign firms include Fintrilis S.A, Tel of Western Greece; Kreta Mare, El Mare and Theo-Man Limited.
The Greek partners presently in Nigeria on a 10-day visit preparatory to take-off of the project include, George Thoedorou, MD/CEO Theo-Man Limited; Ioannis Inglesis, HOD, Public Relations and International Relations, TEI of Western Greece; George Salachas, Vice Rector, TEI of Western Greece, and Ioannis Kladas, Vice HOD, Dept. of Aquaculture and Fisheries, TEI of Western Greece. Others are: Ioannis Melisourgakis, Director, Kreta Mare; Dimitrios Fintrilis, MD/CEO Fintrilis S.A; Ioannis Kampouroglov, Director, El Mare, and Benni Ebosele, Coordinator, Theo-man.
At least 2000 of the 2500 beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme scheduled for training are expected to be fully employed on completion of the project, for which an implementation committee and five subcommittees were last week inaugurated by Prof. Dokubo.