The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) is to deploy 10 beneficiaries of the programme for helicopter training at the International Helicopter Flying School, Enugu.
The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, retired Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Boroh said the training was part of the Federal Government’s programme on Sustainable Reintegration Agenda and building the manpower needs of not just the Niger Delta, but also the country.
“This helicopter training, among others, is a clear indication that the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership is committed to development of the region.
“They are also bold statements that this administration is ready and determined to solve the Niger Delta crisis,’’ he said
He said that in the past, there were doubts if PAP could be trusted to fulfil its obligations and meet its commitments.
He said that the programme won the trust of the people and the beneficiaries, in spite of the current economic challenges.
Boroh said the clearest statement of the administration’s commitment to ensuring the success of the programme was its request to the National Assembly for virement to enable it to sustain and fund the programme’s immediate needs.
The amnesty coordinator said that the meeting with the International Flying School Management was to finalise the training agreement and ensure that due process was followed.
Boroh said that he had been involved in various amnesty programmes of the United Nations, particularly in Sierra Leone and Liberia.
“The Nigerian amnesty is unique and more comprehensive. We are now sustainably reintegrating beneficiaries into the society.
“This is a novel; it is work in progress and we are garnering experience and the international community is learning from us,” he added.
He expressed optimism that the beneficiaries would excel in the training like their counterparts who graduated with First Class and Second Class Upper degrees from universities.
He added that after the training, the beneficiaries would also become helicopter instructors to fill a major gap in the country.
The delegation’s leader, Air Commodore Hyacinth Eze, said the organisation was established by the Nigeria Air Force to develop the country’s capacity to conduct major maintenance of its aircraft and equipment.
Eze, who is also the Managing Director of the Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services, said that the centre had contributed to to capacity building.
He added that the services also saved the country huge foreign exchange hitherto expended on such maintenance outside the country.
The Rector of the school, Air Commodore H.I. Yahaya, said it trained 55 helicopter pilots.
According to Yahaya, the school plans to expand its training scope in 2017 with stepped up programmes.