Reps move for N36 billion to offset ex-militants’ pay arrears

 Sulaimon Yussuff Lassun

Sulaimon Yussuff Lassun

The House of Representatives yesterday expressed readiness to interface with the relevant authorities to ensure the release of an outstanding N35, 824, 488, 493. 27 for the Presidential Amnesty Office in the 2016 budget as part of plans to appease aggrieved militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.

The release, it was learnt, is to enable the payment of arrears of stipends to 25,000 former agitators, in-training allowances, tuition fees and other commitments.

Adopting a motion sponsored by Ekpenyong Essien Ayi (Bakassi: Cross River: PDP) and 29 others, the chamber also urged the authorities to formulate a sustainable plan to end militancy in the area.

At the plenary presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Sulaimon Yussuff Lassun, the lawmakers enjoined the restive militants to embrace dialogue and allow peace reign in the region.

Ayi noted that of the N55, 824, 488, 493. 27 proposed by the amnesty office, it was only N20, 000, 000, 000. 00 that was approved in the 2016 budget recently signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The lawmaker blamed the massive cut for the resurgence of militancy which has seen oil production further nosedived from 1. 76 mbd in February to 1. 68 mbd in March and 1. 62 mbd in April according to a report from the International Energy Agency.

Speaking further on the incessant attacks on oil facilities in the region, he noted that the development had impacted negatively on electricity output, as thermal power stations that rely on gas to power their turbines have been made impotent.

Ayi recalled that the amnesty programme, introduced by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, actually persuaded about 30, 000 militants to lay down their arms, leading to a rebound in oil output from around 1. 6 mbd to about 2. 8 mbd, thus resulting in higher oil revenues for the country.

Consequently, Lassun referred the issue to the House Committee on Niger Delta for further legislative work.

Also, the lawmakers adopted another motion urging the authorities to put all necessary machineries in motion for generation of electricity through coal in all states of the federation where there is proven and inferred coal reserves.

Adopting a motion sponsored by Ahmed Abu, the chamber enjoined the authorities to create a conducive environment to attract private investments in the coal sector, including the issuance of sovereign guarantee to foreign investors.

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  • pmagroup

    It is time our so called leaders should start to address the most needs of every Nigerian which is steady electricity. There is no need sharing the money hand to hand while it should be invested in things that will bring the much needed change to our country. The oil is not for the Niger Deltans alone, it is for all Nigerian and the profit should be invested in a way that it should benefit all Nigerians. After you give them money and send some to South Africa for work internship and when they return they return in darkness, it does not make any good to anyone, even the militants, i think most of them will enjoy it so much if we can have steady electricity in Nigeria. Mind you the root cause of all the challenges facing our country is because of lack of steady electricity.

    • Eve

      But you can develop other States and pay higher school fees for senator and representative children abroad without investing in electricity. When it is time for a poor man’s children to benefits then you remember national interest. In other parts of the country you pay even to build a common shop on their land or Carry sand pass you hear owo da, then it is not for the nation. You wicked generation.

    • karem

      Agreed the oil does not belong to them alone. But the oil is in the land and has brought enormous suffering to them through environmental pollution. Common sense has it that they deserve better than what they currently get. Danjuma, Babangida, Lukman, Yar’adua and so on are thousands of kilometers away from Niger Delta. These people have numerous OIL BLOCKS AND WELLS but not a SINGLE NIGER DELTANS has a single block. So, we want to know the criteria with which they earned these OIL BLOCKS. Look at how Scotland is being pampered by UK because the UK oil is there…SO, to stop such militants like Avengers and others to be formed, development by the federal government must come to Niger Delta. ABUJA or LAGOS does not produce oil but oil from Niger Delta has been used to build these two cities. So, we want Niger Delta to be like Abuja or Lagos. Not the SLUM it presently is now.

      • lord vuga

        What about the old woman in the creek whose farmland has been destroyed by oil spills? How much is she being paid?

    • honesty NO1

      You are 200% correct if i can be allowed to say that Most of the unrest and the agitation will reduce with 24hr electricity supply even Nigerians in DIASPORA will start to come back home ! ! ! Let Nigeria use any raw materials in each of the geographical zones to supply electricity for that zone. We have abundant sun in the NORTH. We have COAL in the East and the kanji Dam in Lokoja , We have the gas in the Niger delta Let the gas pipe line be deep underground to stop the VANDALS. When are we going to WAKE UP? Nigeria is being left behind.

  • Blessed58

    Ex militants arrears or bribe? Their leaders have not developed the region as can be seen by anyone who visits these areas. Their leaders have collected billions with nothing to show except personal gain. It is very a sad situation. Except these milliants and children are educated they will continue the self destructive bidding of their leaders. After the leaders are “settled”, how many decades will it take to clean up the pollution of their land and rivers resulting from spillages caused by blowing up pipelines? I mourn for your people Niger Delta Avengers and co. It is so sad

  • MUkintu