OrderPaperToday – Senate Committee on Niger Delta has expressed displeasure over the delay in release of funds to the Amnesty Office.
The funds is to expected to serve as payment of stipends and other allowances to beneficiaries of the amnesty programme used in maintaining peace and security in the Niger Delta.
The office was allocated N65 billion in the 2018 budget but a “grossly inadequate” N5 billion have been released so far to them.
This was revealed by the spokesman to the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Murphy Ganagana, in a press statement on Thursday quoted members of the Committee who visited the Office of the Special Adviser to the President and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme in Abuja.
The vice chairman of the Committee, Senator Baba Kaka Bashir Garbai, was quoted as saying, “there are points which I did not make while I was making this presentation. Some of them actually came up as a result of Prof. Charles Dokubo’s presentation.
“It was while making this presentation that this committee became aware of the fact that you (Amnesty Office) got only N5bn twice out of the N65bn allocated to you in the 2018 budget. N5bn translates to approximately 7.7 per cent which is grossly inadequate.”
Senator Garbai reiterated the need for the Amnesty Programme while urging for the prompt release of funds.
“This kind of situation underscores the need for an interactive session like this so that we can put pressure on the Ministry of Finance and those that are involved in the release of funds. Amnesty programme is a very important programme of this government.
“From the late Musa Yar’Adua administration up till now, it has brought down the temperature in the Niger Delta; because of that, whenever you are having these kinds of challenges, make us know as a committee so that we can intervene.”