Prof. Charles Dokubo, Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, has said that only President Muhammadu Buhari can give orders before more people could be accommodated in the amnesty programme.
Dokubo made this known while fielding questions during the News Agency of Nigeria forum in Abuja.
He said the office was waiting for the declaration of the president to admit more people into the programme because they were all from the Niger Delta.
Dokubo also allayed the fears in some quarters that the amnesty programme would be terminated, saying that there was no date for the termination of the programme.
He said: “For those who want to come anew into the programme, it is not in my power to admit them unless Mr. President gives the order because they are not part of the budget that has been passed for us.
“So the President must make a declaration. We have phases one, two and three. Phase one is the initial Presidential declaration, phase two also was Presidential order and even phase three.
“These new people need the support of this amnesty programme and we will do all it takes that they are not the forgotten ones and they are part of the programme.
“There is no date for terminating this programme and I will not advise any government to cut it off because of the achievements it has recorded.
“There is peace in the Niger Delta, there is human security and it impacts positively on the people.”
Commenting on the policy of sending beneficiaries abroad to study courses that were available in Nigerian instructions, the Coordinator said he would curtail it because of budgetary constraints.
According to him, a lot of people that were sent abroad were on faulty premises; how can you send somebody to the US to read political science when most universities in Nigeria offer political science.
He said: “That is why I am concerned about offshore training because the money we will spend on one person, we can spend on 10 people in Nigeria; only specific courses like pilots, aircraft maintenance that I can look at.’’
Speaking on the Federal Government’s plan to build modular refineries, Dokubo was of the opinion that as long as it would benefit the people and not endanger their health, it was a welcome development.
According to him, if the government deems it fit that it is good, my concerns are just about the environment and the pollution it creates.
He said: “If modular refineries are the new path to empower my people and it will not endanger their health later and where the government will spend a lot of money training them again, I will say welcome.’’
Speaking on the agitators laid off from the amnesty office, he said those who were laid off were either not qualified or failed the examination.
Dokubo added that efficiency was key and the work did not belong to any particular persons, so if there was a need to put better qualified people on the job, those there had to be excused.