Chairman of Presidential Amnesty Vendors’ Forum and Managing Director Sammechsol Nigeria Limited, Pastor Samson Dabbey, has thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva and the Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd),for incorporating transportation and hospitality sectors in the ongoing reintegration phase of the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
Pastor Dabbey, who also doubles as manager of Stan and Deka Resources Ltd, gave the commendation in a chat with journalists in Yenagoa recently. He said the distribution of tricycles and assesories to 500 delegates in Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers States, was a smart move.
He added that tricycles have become an acceptable mode of transportation available to individuals in order to meet their daily travel needs and fill the shortages in public transport, in a bid to improve intracity transportation and the domestic tourism drive in the region.
He reiterated the need for cities to harness different modes of transport that would seamlessly connect with one another,saying that good transportation system reduces commuting time and cost of living, adding that public transport is especially important for lower income groups, where 42percent of the population may lack access to a car or van (compared to only 8 percent of those in the highest income group).
“A good transport system supports innovation, productivity and economic growth in cities as well as the national economy, encouraging firms to locate near one another, bringing them closer to their supply chain to share expertise.
“A recent study in America found that doubling transport investment in cities raised productivity and increased wages between 1.1 and 1.8percent.
The Amnesty Vendors’ Forum boss maintained that the recent distribution of 500 trycircles to trained delegates of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, among whom were females, from four states in the Niger Delta region was part of efforts geared towards proper reintegrating the ex-agitators into civil life, pointing out that the Amnesty programme was initiated to serve as an instrument for peacebuilding with emphasises on addressing wider reforms of underdevelopment and poverty in the region.
“The last event speaks volumes about the success story of the ongoing reintegration phase of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, under the Interim Administrator, Col Milland Dikio, where trained delegates were empowered with tools to enable them effectively participate in the transport sector of the local economy.
“I like to specially note the untiring efforts of the Interim Administrator, Col Dikio (rtd), who came with a rich military background, coupled with his avowed commitment to his new assignment, which clearly demonstrates his good intentions for the programme, just as he is bent on service delivery.
“As vendors in the programme, we are confident that Col. Dikio will certainly make a difference in refocusing the programme to achieve its original intention.
“I want to use the medium to further appeal to the federal government to release funds to contractors on time to enable them empower more delegates who have been trainees and now waiting for their empowerment which will go a way to stimulate the local economy in the region.
Managing Director of Stan and DeKa Resources Ltd, Mr Stan Alabi, had explained that his management chose to invest in the transportation sector because of its direct benefits to the people of the Niger Delta in terms of driving domestic tourism businesses.
“I urge the beneficiaries to make judicious use of the tricycles to empower themselves as well as grow their businessess to increase the profit margins,” he said.
Mr Alabi appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari and the Interim Administrator, Col Dikio (rtd) for the provision of tricycles for delegates who had long been trained to enhance their living standards. He said: “to grow the business, recipients are reminded to think like entrepreneurs, be focused and dependent.
Mr. Charles Egele, a beneficiary from Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, expressed delight that his hope was not dashed after years of training.
He thanked the federal government for empowering him and his colleagues in line with the mandate of the Amnesty Programme, saying that he would utilize the tricycle for the purpose it was given.