28 Nigerians deported
Saturday, August 4 2012
A REPORT in yesterday’s edition of New York’s Business Day publication stated that Trinidad and Tobago has deported 28 ex-Niger Delta militants whose character and attitude were considered inimical and threatening to the cordial relationships between Nigeria and TT.
The 28 ex-militants were part of the initial 100 sent to TT for a training programme that is costing Nigeria as much as $6 million. Fifteen Nigerians had earlier dropped out of the programme on health ground.
Ten of the ex-militants have, however, been rewarded with scholarships to further their programmes up to masters degree level following excellent performance in the training aimed at equipping them to play significant roles in the Nigerian oil and gas sector. This much was revealed to President Goodluck Jonathan who concluded a three-day visit to TT on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, while receiving President Jonathan said TT is pleased to be part of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, “initiated and implemented by your office to engage young persons from the energy-rich Niger Delta in training and rehabilitation programmes, thereby contributing to the positive development of that region”.
The New York publication reported that ten of the ex-militants participating in the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme initiated and implemented to engage young persons from the energy-rich Niger Delta in training and rehabilitation programmes won scholarships up to masters level at the Trinidad-based National Energy Skills Centre (NESC).
As a result, only 57 Nigerians are now taking part in the programme where the Federal Government of Nigeria is spending over $6 million to equip them with various skills expected to be deployed in the oil and gas sector.
They represent the first group of trainees who will be certified in the areas of Automotive Service Maintenance, Heavy Equipment Operations and Millwright and Shielded Metal Arc Wielding.
On Wednesday July 25, 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 utilize 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 and Tobago and that discussions are underway for the implementation of a similar training model in Nigeria,” Persad-Bissessar said as she addressed President Jonathan and other dignitaries on Wednesday at an Emancipation Day parade in Port-of-Spain.
President Jonathan in his speech said Nigeria and the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago will continue to strengthen existing collaboration in energy, technical, cultural, educational and scientific cooperation.
Jonathan also challenged the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, especially the blacks of the need to dump slave mentality and play critical and leading roles in the world of commerce, economics, science and technology, insisting slavery should produce leaders.