Niger Delta Stakeholders Fault Calls For Increased Budget For Amnesty Programme

The Movement for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND) has faulted calls for an increase in the budgetary allocation to contractors of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).

According to the group, instead of a budgetary increase for contractors, President Bola Tinubu should immediately increase the monthly stipend of amnesty beneficiaries from N65,000 to N100,000 to cope with rising inflation.

They also called on Tinubu and the National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, to convene a meeting with the founding fathers of the Amnesty Programme to review the PAP.

The group made their position known in a statement issued and signed by Chief Ayibatekena Olodi in reaction to calls by the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme Vendors Union for increased budgetary allocation to the PAP.

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The MSDND called for an upwards review of the N65,000 approved to ex-agitators since 2009.

The statement said, “The N65,000 is a meagre stipend approved to ex-militants since 2009 despite the harsh economic conditions and inflation.

“These are ex-militants who have contributed immensely to the peace, security, and development of the atmosphere in the region. These contributions have encouraged improved oil and gas exploration and an increase in the revenue for the nation.

“These ex-agitators have maintained their side of the bargain in spite of the environmental degradation, deprivation and destruction.

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“The meagre monthly N65,000 is the money managed for upkeep and used for medical bills of families affected by adverse effects of oil and gas exploration in the region which are not borne and suffered by other regions in the country.

“Any increase in the budgetary allocations for more contracts will automatically lead to more fraudulent and unexecuted contracts by contractors at the PAP.

” It’s a recipe for disaster, and we have all witnessed these magnitudes of fraud that lead to the five (5) days uninterrupted looting of the Amnesty Training and Vocational Centre located at Boro–Town, Kaiama in Bayelsa State in February 2019.”

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