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Ex-militants programme will cost N63.28bln in 2014

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku has disclosed that the Niger Delta amnesty programme would cost taxpayers N63.28 billion in 2014 fiscal year.

He disclosed this during a budget session with the House of Reps Committee on Niger Delta at the National Assembly yesterday.

Kuku said the budget proposal of N63.28 billion comprised of N35.83 billion which was the reintegration component of the amnesty programme.

A further N23.62 billion, to be disbursed as payments of N65,000 monthly stipends to 30,000 former militants.

Add another N3.82 billion for the operational costs of the amnesty office.

According to a report byan online news website, Kuku disclosed that about 2,200 transformed former militants were expected to be placed in either formal education or vocational training.

He explained further that out of the 1,100 that had opted for vocational training, 700 would be trained locally, while 400 would be trained abroad.

According to him, the remaining 200 would be placed in foundation or pathway programmes that would be conducted within the country to prepare the delegates for placements for universities offshore.

He explained that of the 30,000 statutorily enlisted in the programme, 18,000 delegates have either graduated or are currently in either vocational or educational training facilities within the country and abroad.

“With this figure, we are left with a total number of 11,200 delegates awaiting placements in reintegration facilities,” he said.

The aide also informed the committee that in 2013, N38.90 billion was appropriated for the demobilised ex-agitators.

He added that in compliance with the UN Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) Charter Code, N546 million was provided for in the 2013 budget to take care of the reinsertion/transition safety allowance for 3,642 transformed ex-agitators and their leaders enlisted in the third phase of the amnesty programme.

He disclosed that in 2013, 2,400 delegates were successfully deployed in vocational training centres both within the country and outside.

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