The Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, on Wednesday inaugurated a Monitoring and Evaluation Committee to assist him in putting the programme on the right track.

The 29-member committee, comprising critical stakeholders and professionals in the Niger Delta, is headed by a foremost environmental rights activist, Elder Timi Kaizer Ogoriba.

Dokubo, while inaugurating the committee at the conference hall of Treasure Suites in Abuja, said it would give impetus and a new direction in his drive to refocus the Amnesty Programme to its original mandate.  

He said: “When I took over this office, there was no M&E committee. 

“I was just swimming and looking for ways to run the programme. 

“Initially, when I was searching, I brought all those who are elders in the region with a deep knowledge of the programme, those who have been here from the beginning of the programme. 

“And after close interactions with them, I was reliably informed that there was a standing M and E committee, but it ceased to exist for whatever reasons. 

“Some of those who were there are present here.

“That was why I decided to reconstitute this committee to guide me through this mission so that we can have a better understanding of the programme and to have a better direction also. 

“Because these are the people that I think from the beginning were part of the Amnesty Programme. 

“Nobody has a monopoly of knowledge, and if we can learn from each other, especially from those who have been involved from the beginning of the programme, I think it will take this programme to a better height.”

Dokubo said monitoring and evaluation of projects and activities was at the heart of the programme as he highlighted the significance of the M & E committee. 

He said: “We need it to be part of the office and of all the programmes we are running, without M & E, we cannot do it properly; we cannot do it effectively. 

“And this will be my own visible direction. 

“I strongly believe that with the personally of Chief T. K. Ogoriba and those who are there with him, we will steer this new ship on sail in the Amnesty Programme to an enviable berth.

“I think with the M and E in the office, we can always guide and redial history and make sure that those who do not understand will be better informed. 

“And for those of us from the Niger Delta, if we don’t do things to make use of this programme, posterity will question us as people. 

“I am determined to ensure that the impact of the programme will directly affect the lives of our people in the local communities. 

“And I hope that with the input of this committee to the programme, we will get a better roadmap to navigate this programme to its goals and objectives.”

Responding, leader of the committee, Elder Ogoriba, described the inaugural ceremony as the beginning of another era in the drive to achieving better results in the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

He said the committee will be involved in process, technical, financial and impact monitoring, among other activities, including routine collection of data during project implementation for the purpose of impact assessment.

He said: “We will use this medium to crave an opportunity to profusely thank the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo, for institutionalizing this integral part of the programme that has a budgetary provision that was jettisoned earlier and now being given teeth to bite and making it function.

“We give you all the assurances that we will not disappoint in the discharge of our responsibilities and will not be overwhelmed by the appurtenances and niceties of the office, if any. 

“The membership of the committee, whole-heartedly accept the responsibility that has been bestowed on us on this very auspicious occasion.”

Members of the committee include Selekaye Victor Ben, Marshall Kunoun, Sergeant Weri Noel Digifa, Binaebi Ambah, Kalsuo Doupere, Welman Warri, Wisdom Oniekpar Ikuli, Oyeinfie Jonjon, Rosabella Jackson, Richard Akinaka and Bright Peregba.

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