The Presidential Amnesty Program introduces a strategy to convert ex-agitators into business owners

The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has begun informing ex-agitators on the requirements for obtaining low-interest loans through its recently announced cooperative plan.

The Interim Administrator, Maj-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (retd), said the loan scheme was launched on Friday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to advise prospective beneficiaries on how to obtain different types of the loan.

Ndiomu, who was represented by Thomas Peretu, his Special Assistant on Special Duties, pledged that qualified ex-agitators would not be denied access to the credit facility.

He described the procedure as transparent, stating that it was overseen by a group of reputable experts.

Ndiomu noted that the Cooperative Scheme was part of the PAP program’s efforts to turn ex-agitators into businesses rather than monthly stipend earners.

“We’ve done everything we can to put this together,” he stated. We are currently going off in a significant way. Let me guarantee you that the loan scheme would benefit all of you (ex-agitators). It is your initiative.

“Our goal is to turn you into entrepreneurs so you won’t have to rely on the monthly N65,000 stipend that some of you are accustomed to.” It is critical to start thinking big in order to have a positive impact in your towns, states, and country.”

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Mr. Zigha Ayibakuro, Lead Consultant for the Presidential Amnesty Programme Beneficiaries Cooperative Scheme Limited (PAPCOSOL), stated in his presentation that the exercise was designed to educate ex-agitators on the purpose of the cooperative and the importance of working together to achieve set objectives.

“There is a place for knowledge if you want to succeed in any business,” Ayibakuro added. Some of you have restricted access to information, which is critical when starting a business.

“What we do as a Cooperative is provide you with all of the information you need to start your business before providing you with seed capital.”

He praised Ndiomu’s idea, emphasizing that the loan was intended for ex-agitators with viable businesses or services.

According to Ayibakuro, the process entailed “filling their Bio data like BVN, National identity, PAP ID code, which will be verified from the backend, skill history proof, business history proof to determine if they are engaged in any trade or productive activities,” among other things.

He stated that the beneficiaries would also produce a letter of promise to repay the loan with 5% interest per year, a three-year term, and a one-year moratorium.

He stated that the loan payout process would be completed in stages within two weeks after the last date of application.

Meanwhile, Nature Dumale Kieghe, Chairman of the PAP Strategic Communications Committee, identified the PAP cooperative society Ltd as a showpiece project that will change the perception and narrative of the program.

Nature praised Ndiomu for his one-of-a-kind initiatives, which he described as evidence of his intention to develop the economic potential of ex-agitators.

He asked the facilitators and lead consultant, Mr Zigha, to use their knowledge to help delegates succeed in the Interim Administrator’s new legacy initiative.

He recalled how numerous briefcase contractors had exploited PAP delegates over the years, taking money from the amnesty office to employ delegates but failing to fulfill their end of the bargain.

Nature, who is also the National Secretary of the first phase ex-agitators, exhorted ex-agitators and delegates to seize every opportunity in life.

Mr. Emmanuel Benedict, a business development consultant, listed the different chances for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in his remarks.

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