By George ONAH, Port Harcourt
The Federal Government has rejected insinuations making the rounds that it had set aside N50 billion in this yearâ€™s budget for the funding of the amnesty programme for militants in the Niger Delta.
Rather, Minister of Defence Major General Godwin Abbe told newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday, that the amount was â€œthe cumulative estimate for about 24 months that would involve spending by the various tiers and parastatals of governmentâ€ for the amnesty programme.
Abbe explained that from inception of the exercise it was envisaged that implementing the amnesty would be an all embracing exercise from local, state and federal government, in getting the various elements from the camps to where they are to surrender the arms.
â€œAfter surrendering of the arms at the first step, they are to be moved to the transit camps where they would be categorized, accommodated, where they would be paid some specific amount of allowance to enable them feed.
It is during the process of categorization that we would be able to determine those who are readily employable, trainable, and after identification, they would be sent to the various schools or training centresâ€, he said.