In sustenance of the new understanding between the Federal Government and the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta, the President Muhammadu Buhari administration has released additional N35B to step-up the Amnesty Programme in the region.
Although the FG had approved a N20B allocation for the Amnesty Programme in the 2016 budget, President Buhari has now raised the funds, and as appropriated, to N55B with a recent release of additional N30B. There is also a planned release of another N5B later.
Currently the Amnesty Office has now paid up all ex-militants backlog of their stipends up to the end of 2016.
The release of the additional funds is coming after presidential level interactive engagements in the Niger Delta, where the Buhari administration has enunciated a New Vision for the oil-producing areas based on the presentation made by the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, to the President when he received leaders and stakeholders from the region last November.
Subsequently, the President asked his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to embark on a tour of the region that saw him visiting several oil-producing States in the country.
Besides the monthly payment of about N65, 000 to N66,000 to the ex-militants, the funds would also go to the provision of reintegration activities under the Amnesty Programme including payment of tuition fees for beneficiaries from Niger Delta who are in post-secondary institutions at home and abroad, payment of in-training & hazard allowances and vocational training costs.
There are also empowerment schemes and self-help, self-employment support funds, including provision of needed equipments by the Amnesty Office. Equally, the funds would also support the training of pilots, aviation engineers, technicians, and motor vehicles mechanics from the oil-producing communities.