By NBF News

FG raises post-amnesty budget
Sunday, March 07, 2010


BUDGETARY estimates for the rehabilitation of repentant militants in the Niger Delta has jumped from the initial N58 billion to N65 billion.

But the funding outlay according to AkanimoReport, an online news medium, shot up even as kidnapping in the oil and gas region is yet to abate.

It said sporadic kidnappings are still occurring on a regular basis both in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country, indicating that targets range from the high profile to family members of quite junior staff in companies and the private sector.

A civil society group, Stakeholder Democracy Network (SDN), has said the only details publicly available from the Post Amnesty Committee chaired by Defence Minister, Mr Godwin Abbe, are budgets. Coordinator of the group, Mr Gaia Sprocati, told AkanimoReports on Friday that, ”the latest version has it that the amount has increased from N58 billion to N65 billion to rehabilitate 20,120 identified militants”.

The group said putting aside questions over the number of militants, the need for detail and transparency of plans remained vital if these funds are to be well spent, adding concerns have already been raised about diversion of funds for earlier parts of the programme with even the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, claiming at a forum in Abuja that allowances to former militants were not being paid on time.