Twenty-eight out of the 100 ex-Niger Delta militants registered for training at the National Energy Skills Centre in Trinidad and Tobago were reportedly deported for offences against “national interest” while 15 dropped on health grounds, it was revealed on Thursday.
However, 57 who participated in the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme graduated on Wednesday.
Out of the number, 10 were awarded scholarships for their master’s degrees at the Caribbean University for their exemplary performance. The awards were said to be the first since the establishment of the institution 64 years ago.
The Federal Government was said to have expended over $6m on the programme with the ex-militants training in Automotive Service Maintenance, Heavy Equipment Operations and Millwright and Shielded Metal Arc Wielding.
President Goodluck Jonathan, who was excited by the development, said it was his desire that Nigeria should be handed over to youths, who are committed and have the requisite training.
Jonathan spoke in Trinidad & Tobago as he concluded his two-day visit to the country.
Such youths, he added, should be properly equipped to work towards placing the nation among leading countries in the world.
Trinidad & Tobago Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, said his country was delighted to be part of the success story of the amnesty programme.
He said, “On Wednesday, the National Energy Skills Centre held a graduation ceremony for its first group of trainees from the programme who are now certified in the areas of Automotive Service Maintenance, Heavy Equipment Operations and Millwright and Shielded Metal Arc Wielding.
“I am confident that the 57 graduates will utilise the skills acquired to enhance the human capital of the Niger Delta. I am informed that another group of approximately 80 trainees are expected to arrive in Trinidad & Tobago and that discussions are underway for the implementation of a similar training model in Nigeria.”