OrderPaperToday – On the 20th of February 2020, the Senate introduced a bill that seeks to establish a national agency for education, rehabilitation, de-radicalization and integration of repentant boko haram terrorists in Nigeria.

The bill is sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Gaidam (APC, Yobe) who explained that the bill was birthed to promote national security. Asides general outrage, some Senators, past and present, also opposed the introduction of the legislative draft. Meanwhile, from a report seen by our correspondent, the bill provides vocational and recreational programmes for the repentant killers.

This article throws more light on the bill:

Membership of the Agency

The bill seeks an agency which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal; may sue and be sued in its corporate name; may hold, acquire and dispose of any property or interest in the property, movable or immovable.

The agency will have a Governing Board consisting of a Chairman to be appointed by the President in consultation with the National Assembly, one representative each of the North East States; one representative each of the stakeholders; three representative of the impacted communities and one person each not below the rank of Lieutenant Colonel or it’s equivalent to represent the following organizations; (Army, Navy, Air Force, Police, and the Nigerian Civil Defence Corps). Others are: One representative of the following Ministries and Agencies- (Humanitarian Affairs, Finance, Environment, Petroleum Resources, North East Development Commission (NEDC) and Local Content Board)- who shall not be below the rank of Assistant Director). The Chairman and Secretary shall hold tenure of four years and may be reappointed while other members of the board shall be part-time members.

Functions of the Agency

– The Agency shall implement a comprehensive programme in the area of disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation, and reintegration; provide a baseline information to stakeholders for the implementation of the objective of this bill; formulate strategies and action plans for the deployment of education, rehabilitation, De-radicalization, integration, vocational skill acquisition and empowerment;

– Coordinate efforts of relevant agencies, organization, and institutions towards the attainment of set objectives as regards job placement, internship and sustainable reintegration; build capacity, knowledge, and skills at federal, state and local community levels for the effective implementation of this bill; serve as the focal point for the coordination of interventions by regional, sub-regional and international organizations, academic institutions and agencies involved in the implementation of the purpose of this bill

– Ensure compliance with the provisions of International Conventions, Protocols, Agreements and Treaties pertaining to the objectives of this bill as may be ratified and domesticated by Nigeria; monitor and ensure compliance with laws, rules and regulations on sustainable management of the programme in consultation with the North East States; ensure uniformity of laws, rules, and regulations that impact on the Presidential Amnesty Programme in Nigeria; ensure that projects funded by donor agencies to mitigate or eradicate the effects of insurgency are properly implemented towards the sustainable restoration of peace and security to the North East States and ensure economic sustainability to the country;

-Enter into scientific and technical cooperation with persons and institutions, for the effective implementation of the programme; implement programmes geared towards the rehabilitation of beneficiaries, engage the services of offshore and Nigerian institutions in the pursuit of the educational needs of ex-agitators; establish appropriate machinery for monitoring and evaluation of the Programme and put in place appropriate feedback mechanisms for necessary action of implementing institutions and stakeholders;

– Establish a data bank for effective delivery of the programme, maintain stipends, payroll and exit lists from the payment of stipends; create public awareness and provide education on the goals and objectives in addition to promoting private sector and stakeholders compliance with guidelines, rules, and regulations including new orientation on sustainable reintegration and do any other thing as are expedient for the realization of the functions of the agency.

Funding of the Agency

– The agency shall establish and maintain a fund which shall consist of: Initial take-off grant from the federal government; annual subvention from the government; States counterpart funding to be deducted at source at 0.5% of their statutory allocation; 1.0% of the Education Tax Fund and UBEC Fund;

– Subject to section 12 of this Act, all other sums accruing to the agency by way of grants-in-aid, gift, testamentary dispositions, endowments and donations made to the agency; such other sums as may accrue from time to time, to the agency.

Power to Accept Donations/Grant

– The Agency may accept any grant or donation of land, money or other property from any person or organization upon such terms and conditions as are acceptable to the extant laws of the federation.

– The Agency shall not accept any grant or donation if the condition attached thereto by the person or organization making the grant or donation are inconsistent with the functions of the agency.

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