The Federal Government has embarked on an exit strategy to stop the amnesty programme “within the next two years”, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Paul Boroh, has said.
He also said the Amnesty Office had “relocated to the Niger Delta following the increasing attacks on oil pipelines to maintain stability.”
According to him, about 4,000 others will exit the programme, with the government saving about N3.5bn in stipends payment.
Boroh spoke on Tuesday in Abuja during a summit with the theme: “Niger Delta Way Forward: From Stabilisation to Sustainable Development”, organised by stakeholders and a Non-Governmental Organisation, Partnership Initiative on the Niger Delta Foundation.”
He said, “So far, 17,320 of the 30,000 beneficiaries have been trained and 3,232 have been empowered with starter packs to begin their own businesses. They are being prepared to exit the amnesty programme within the next two years. Subsequently, this year, about 4,000 others will leave, thereby saving the Federal Government about N3.5bn in stipends payment.”
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Uguru Usan, called for the revival of the economy of the Niger Delta with emphasis on women, community leaders and youths.
He said that there was a need to revive the economy of the Niger Delta and lift the people out of poverty
Usani said, “We have been dishonest in the application of the resources to the region. “The ministry has been viewed as an infrastructure ministry. We need to shift to be more holistic about the management of Niger Delta. This is why an integrated approach with other necessary ministries and agencies working in the region is desperately needed.
“Anyone that has a plan for Niger Delta needs to include focus on women, youths and community leaders. We need to adjust in our mission and activities for the region. We do not want to copy and paste any programmes in the region to simply impress an international community. There should be focus rebuilding the human capital of the Niger Delta region.”
The Minister of Environment, Hajiya Amina Mohammed, emphasised the need for security and address the root causes of insecurity in the region.