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Presidency raises alarm over N20bn budget for Amnesty Programme

By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke

ABUJA—THE Presidency, yesterday, raised alarm over the grave implications of grossly inadequate N20 billion proposed  budget for the Presidential Amnesty Programme in the 2016 budget document.

Speaking when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta/Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Borah (retd), said most of the obligations in the Amnesty Programme would be frustrated if the original N64 billion proposed for the programme for the 2016 fiscal year was not approved.

Borah noted that a significant number of the 30,000  ex-Niger Delta militants currently under- going training overseas would be adversely affected.

He said: “In view of the foregoing, I urge you most sincerely to consider an upward review from the proposed N20 billion to N64.8 billion for the sustenance and re-integration of ex-agitators in the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the 2016 fiscal year.”

Of the N63.06 billion  appropriated for the amnesty programme in 2015, the sum of N63.02 billion was released.

Meanwhile, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Hope Uzodimma, said that the committee would carry out an extensive audit of the renovation of the nation’s airports undertaken by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

Uzodimma spoke when the Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, appeared before his Committee on Aviation for budget defence.

Speaking while defending the 2016 budget proposal of the ministry before the Senate Committee on Aviation in Abuja, Amaechi noted that the ministry would soon commence an extensive audit of renovation of the nation’s airports carried out by the last administration.



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