By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
The Comptroller Rivers State Command of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) Sunday James, has described Dr. Soky Amachree as a bridge builder and an intellectual diplomat, promoting technology transfer and industrialization.
He pointed out that Amachree has been engaging in the promotion between Nigeria, Canada and other countries of the world in the last 30 years.
Adjudged by many as a gentleman, a competent administrator and an accomplished technocrat, a nationalist from Rivers State, the Comptroller recalled the technocrat has contributed to national discourse and development in the last 30 years with abundance of experience that span private and public sectors as well as the academia.
In a write up made available to Nigeria Newspaper, James disclosed that Amachree conceived the initiative of establishing collaboration between Canada and Nigeria for the development of the later with the Canadian High Commission in Abuja and the Government of Alberta, the Oil and Gas producing province in Canada since 1993.
It reads, ” Unlike other nationalists, Dr. Soky Amachree can be described as bridge builder and an intellectual diplomat promoting Technology Transfer and Industrialization in the last thirty years between Nigeria, Canada and other countries of the world.
“:He is adjudged by many as a gentleman, a competent administrator and an accomplished technocrat, a nationalist from Rivers State in the heart of the Niger Delta region and one that has contributed to national discourse and development in the last 30 years with with abundance of experience that span private and public sectors as well as the academia.
” To mention a few, He conceived the initiative of establishing Collaboration between Canada and Nigeria for the development of Nigeria with the Canadian High Commission in Abuja and the Government of Alberta, the Oil and Gas producing province in Canada since 1993.
” This was done in conjunction with a Canadian Partner, Mr. Earl Hickok, President of Advantage Energy Services Ltd of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Mr. Earl Hickok and Dr. Soky Amachree have organized over 10 Nigerian delegations to Canada (TECHNOLOGY TOUR) in the past 20 years to establish collaboration in the area of capacity building in the Nigerian oil and gas industry and the development of Nigeria.
” Mr. Earl Hickok has the Vision, Connections and Capacity to help support Nigeria in this very important transformation. He has already given hundreds of thousands of dollars of consulting help to Nigeria over the past 20 years. He believes in Nigeria by virtue of his trusted business relationship with Dr. SOKY Amachree. He believes that Nigeria is a nation destined for greatness. He has put in so much for Nigeria to develop technologically especially in the area of oil and gas.
” One of the outcomes of the visit to Canada was the establishment of two Federal Oil and Gas Polytechnics in Rivers State (Bonny) and Bayelsa State (Ekowe), in collaboration with the leading Canadian Oil & Gas Polytechnic, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT).
“:This collaboration between the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board and the University of Calgary Energy Unit of the Faculty of Business Administration (MBA Programs in Petroleum Policy and Standards),
” Collaboration between the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business on Post Graduate Studies in International Energy Program.
” These programs were to be undertaken in collaboration with Alberta Energy and Utilities Board for the establishment of Collaboration between the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Research & Development Division and the Alberta Research Council (ARC)/Petroleum Recovery Institute (PRI) for the purpose of setting up a World Class Petroleum Research Center in Port Harcourt which could partly be funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and a number of other international donors and the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
” The Establishment of Collaboration between the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and the University of Calgary and both the University of Port Harcourt and the Rivers State University in the areas of Staff Exchange, Student Exchange and Research Collaboration.
” The establishment of Collaboration between the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and four Polytechnics in Nigeria, namely, the Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas in Bonny, Rivers State, Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas, Ekowe, Bayelsa State, Lafia Polytechnic in Niger State and Gombe Polytechnic in Gombe State, in the areas of Staff Exchange, Student Exchange, Curriculum Development and Train-the-Trainer Programmes.
” Also In his numerous peace advocacy efforts in the Niger Delta region, Dr. Engr. Dr. S. M. O. Amachree , who is also the Managing Director and Chief Executive officer of the Sigma Technical Agencies Ltd based in Port Harcourt, Rives State, in conjunction with Professor E. O. Okoro, Head, Department of Medicine, University Of Ilorin wrote to the Niger Delta and Regional Development Thematic Area under the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry on the need for critical approach at resolving conflicts in the Niger Delta region anjd sustain peace in the region.
” In the letter dated 17thy July,2009, Amchree and Okoro muted that as members of the Niger Delta and Regional Development Thematic Area of Nigeria Vision 2020 National Technical Working Group (NWTG), and Nigerians of the Ijaw extraction from Rivers and Delta States, the central issue to the Niger Delta conflict is economic.
According to him, “Fundamental to this conflict is the lack of spending capacity of indigenes/host communities from whose lands oil and gas are extracted. Specifically, the land/asset(s) are appropriated by strangers who tinker with the document allocating the plot to him/her and then turn around to sell the same title to multi‐national companies and becomes an instant billionaire while owners of such land live in abject poverty”
“Even if previous generations have accepted this arrangement, it should now be clear to perceptive observers that subsequent generations are unlikely to put up with this. Therefore, critical to resolving the conflict permanently must involve a clear negotiation of the economic issues and then adequately rewarding communities whose ancestral lands have been appropriated for the common good, but their traditional means of livelihood have been ruined and also suffer directly the adverse environmental consequences of petroleum production”
“As patriots, we have actively participated in generating initiatives/programmes which, in our thinking, contain ideas that are implementable, cost effective, relatively cheap, and can produce visible results that could rapidly and positively impact on the quality of life of the people of the area. This will in turn contribute in reducing the escalating resentment that the people of the area feel from the existing arrangement that excludes them from directly benefiting from resources in their ancestral lands.
” Unfortunately, towards the close of the 3 – month assignment, formatting structures were imposed on the workings of our Group that effectively reduced the scope of work of the Thematic area and excluded”.
These and many other collaborations and suggestions led to the various intervention policies within the last few years that has supported the passage of the PIB law, the establishment of the Niger Delta Affairs Ministry, the Presidential Amnesty Programme and many others for the region.
In one of the numerous recognitions and accolades for the contribution of Dr. S. M. O. Amachree to national development, Former President Goodluck Jonathan, in a letter of commendation through the National Population Commission (NPC) and signed by its Secretary, Professor Sylvester Monye, commended him for his contributions during the p[reparations of the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 Economic Transformation Blueprint which was launched on June 14th,2010.
According to the commendation letter, “ As a member of the National Technical Working Group(NTWG)/Special Interest Group (SIG), your input into the visioning process has in no small measure enriched the final outcome and would like to re-assure you of our unwavering commitment to the vision’s implementation plans. It is my hope that the blue print will truly engender further public discourse.”