Amnesty Programme: ‘Most former militants trained as divers jobless’

Mr Julius Ugwuala, Diving Inspector-elect, Federal Government Amnesty Programme, on Saturday said that most of the former militants trained as divers under the programme had been jobless.

Ugwuala disclosed this on an Instagram live programme organised by Mrs Ezinne Azunnah of the MaritimeTv.

The programme had the theme, ”Code of Practice for Driving Operations in Nigeria”.

According to him, the situation is a security risk that needs to be addressed so that the ex-militants do not go back to their bad ways due to idleness.

“The Federal Government under the Amnesty initiative trained former militants, and some of them chose diving as a profession; they are back in the country and are qualified to work.

“Unfortunately, since they returned, they have not had the opportunity to work with the oil and gas sector.

“The security risk with them being jobless is that the training they had in diving will further enhance their former business if they decide to go back to it; so,” he said.

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He suggested that the code of practice for diving should be implemented through inauguration of a diving advisory board.

He said that absence of the code of practice had set the ex-militants back.

He urged proper regulation of diving in Nigeria.

“Divers are not insured because we do not have regulation that is working; this is part of the issues that the code of practice will address.

“For us to have an effective code of practice, we are looking at the most strigent one, to meet expectations or exceed international standards,” he said.

He suggested that, to reduce accidents, no diving contractor should mobilise to site without clearance from the advisory board, adding that inspectors should be deployed to check equipment to ascertain their suitability for operations.

The advisory board will enforce the regulation, code of practice and develop policy for diving to thrive,” he said.

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