Protesting Niger Delta Ex-Militants
To pacify the Niger Delta and ensure that there are peace and tranquility, President Muhammadu Buhari has released the sum of N35 billion naira to further boost the impact of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the Niger Delta militants.
The release of the funds is to enable the amnesty programme fulfill most of its mandate. It would be recalled that the federal government provision for the programme as captured in the 2016 budget was N20 billion, however, this has now been jacked up to N55 billion Naira.
Niger Delta Militants in Action
The amnesty programme was established to re-oriented, organised and support former repented Niger Delta ex-militants towards empowering and training them to be gainfully employed. The programme guarantees them a monthly payment of allowance while they are undergoing training and empowerment programme in various approved vocations and professions.
The sum of N65, 000 is therefore paid as a monthly allowance to these ex-militants under the amnesty programme. Besides the allowance, tuition fees are also paid out to those ex-militants who are schooling in post-secondary institutions both in Nigeria and abroad. Also paid out to the ex-militants are training and hazard allowances and vocational training costs.
Niger Delta Militants in one of their Numerous Attire
Other schemes such as self-employment support funds, including the provision of equipment, training of high Level and professional manpower such as pilots, aviation engineers, technicians and motor engineers from the oil producing communities.
From all indications, the Buhari administration is determined to make an impact and cause changes in the life and environment of the Niger Delta with the numerous policies the administration has mapped out for the region.
His Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo had traversed all the Niger Delta states seeking support and co-operation and in turn giving mouthwatering promises of a better Niger Delta.
The region has been promised Modular refineries in all oil producing communities to replace the illegal and crude ones currently operated in the region. The resumption and completion of all abandoned construction projects in the region, the clean-up of oil pollution areas in the region including the Ogoni land, the opening and funding of the Maritime University situated in the region as well as the resuscitation and award of pipelines protection and surveillance contracts to major ex- militants in the region among other promises.
Last week, the Presidency ordered the opening of the Maritime University at Okerenkoko in Delta State and put up modalities for it to commence academic activities by September of this year. The Modular refineries vision is said to be designed and structured by the Federal Ministry of Petroleum to ensure efficiency and sustainability.
The Nigerian Government is desperate to show the Niger Delta region that they are sincere and committed to developing their area as long as they will keep at bay their attacks dogs who are the various Militants scattered all over the region. For the Buhari government, it is very necessary for these militants to be quiet and harmless because their past actions which resulted in the destruction of oil pipelines and critical oil and gas infrastructure in the region cost the Nigerian nation loss of billions of dollars and eventually drag it into recession. A repeat of this will be suicidal.