The Senator representing Delta North, Peter Nwaboshi, on Thursday warned that ex-militants may, “cause problems” in the country if government fails to pay allowances they are being owed.
The lawmaker gave the warning on the floor of the senate while lamenting that only N10 billion out of the N38.2 billion appropriated in 2017 budget has been released for the ex-agitators.
Nwaboshi said the Ministries in charge of releasing funds do not release it even after the National Assembly has approved.
The Senator noted that Nigeria’s oil revenue has increased due to the relative peace in the Niger Delta.
He, therefore, appealed to fellow Senators to ensure that government clears the backlog meant for the ex-militants.
According to Nwaboshi, “What is happening Mr President is that after we have made these approvals, the ministries concerned with the release of these funds, do not release them.
“Let me make an example, for the second quarter, first and second quarter, what they are supposed to pay to them is N38.2 billion but what they have given to them today is only N10 billion and what is the effect of it? The effect of it is [that they are] owed four months in respect of monthly stipend.
“Five months in-training allowance for students studying abroad and locally have not been paid. Their tuition fees have not been paid. These students are being sent out, demonstrations are going on across the globe because of non-payment of allowances and tuition fees.
“Mr President, this is a very serious matter and I need to bring it to the attention of this senate that we are facing another problem, maybe if this situation is not curtailed or action taken, these ex-militants will start doing what they know how to do, causing problems.”
Reacting to Nwaboshi’s submission, the President of the senate, Senator Bukola Saraki described as unacceptable the release of only N10 billion out of the N38.2 billion budgeted for the amnesty programme.
Consequently, Saraki directed Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, John Enoh to meet with the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun to ensure that the fund meant for the programme is released.
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