28 Ex-Nigerian militants deported from Trinidad and Tobago

By IndepthAfrica
In News
Aug 5th, 2012

Fortified with Czech guns that can even be used as anti-aircraft weapons, MEND and other militant groups have increased their attacks in just the last year, targeting more oil rigs and kidnapping more than a dozen foreign oil workers, including four AGIP employees who remain in MEND’s custody. (AP Photo)

28 ex-Niger Delta militants who were in the country on a training agreement between Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria were deported to their homeland because they were threats to the good relationship between Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago.

A report on news website Business Day last Friday said the 28 ex-militants were part of an initial 100 sent to the country for a training programme aimed at equipping them to play significant roles in the Nigerian oil and gas sector.

The programme which cost Nigeria up to $6 million, also saw 15 participants dropping out of the programme due to health concerns.

Ten of the ex-militants have been rewarded with scholarships to further their programmes up to masters degree level following their excellent performance in their training.

President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, who visited the country last week for Emancipation Day celebrations made the announcement following his return to Nigeria.

Ten of the ex-militants participating in the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme initiated and implemented to engage young people from the energy-rich Niger Delta in training and rehabilitation programmes, won scholarships up to Master’s level at the Caribbean University, which left 57 Nigerians taking part in the programme.

On July 25, the National Energy Skills Centre held a graduation ceremony for its first group of trainees from the program who are now certified in the areas of Automotive Service Maintenance, Heavy Equipment Operations and Millwright and Shielded Metal Arc Wielding. A total of 57 Nigerians graduated.

During his speech Jonathan said Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago will continue to strengthen existing collaboration in energy, technical, cultural, educational and scientific cooperation, Business Day reported.

He said the Ministry of Energy together with other stakeholders were working on a proposed gas processing plant under the technical energy assistant project with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to harness the country’s huge gas reserves.

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