A statement by the spokesperson to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Laolu Akande, said the Federal Government had approved a N20bn allocation for the Amnesty Programme in the 2016 budget, but the President increased the amount. “President Buhari has now raised the funds, and as appropriated, to N55B with a recent release of additional N30B. There is also a planned release of another N5B later,” the statement issued late Sunday evening said. According to the statement, the move is aimed at sustaining the new understanding between the Federal Government and oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta, following the meeting between the President and the Pan Niger Delta Forum in November 2016. The statement explained that it was based on that meeting that Buhari directed the Vice President to embark on a tour of the Niger Delta. Disclosing that all ex-militants have been paid backlog of their stipends up to the end of 2016, the statement added, “Besides the monthly payment of about N65,000 to N66,000 to the ex-militants, the funds would also go to the provision of reintegration activities under the Amnesty Programme including payment of tuition fees for beneficiaries from Niger Delta who are in post-secondary institutions at home and abroad, payment of in-training & hazard allowances and vocational training costs.” The Federal Government assured the people of the region that it would keep all of the promises made during the visits by the Vice President to different oil-producing communities. It cited the directive for the opening of the Maritime University in Delta before the end of the year as further evidence of its commitment to keeping its promises, adding that further announcements would follow “as each of the commitments of the FG to the Niger Delta oil-producing communities reach advanced and implementation stages”.]]>

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