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 Niger Delta’s amnesty programme faces scrutiny as Buhari appoints new Head

Niger Delta’s amnesty programme faces scrutiny as Buhari appoints new Head


There are concerns over the management and implementation or otherwise of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) vis-à-vis its main objectives since coming on stream over a decade ago.

Modeled after the United Nation’s Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR), the interventionist programme has adjudged a success at outset for restoring oil production to pre-amnesty levels and reducing insecurity in the Niger Delta.

According to a report, the project, originally designed to last for five years, but appears to have no terminal date in sight, has also succeeded in improving the security situation in the region and equipping over 20,000 beneficiaries with formal education and vocational skills, as well as enterprise development, apprenticeship schemes and job placement initiatives.

An assessment prepared for Nextier SPD (Security, Peace and Development) by a team of consultants had, sadly too, revealed that PAP was battling deficit crisis of transparency, consistency and efficient management of resources.

Besides, the document noted that the programme was becoming too expensive to maintain amid corruption, nepotism, prebendal and patrimonial acts, as its implementation between 2010 and 2014 gulped N243 billion ($1.68 billion), making this home-grown DDR programme one of the world’s most expensive.

Also the report stated that until 2016, the yearly budget was N20 billion, while in 2017, the vote almost tripled, with an additional N30 billion ($98.47 million) released, and an extra N5 billion reportedly added at a later stage.

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