Ex-Niger Delta Militants Get Housing Allowance


The Presidency has approved the payment of housing allowance to all registered ex-militants who were rehabilitated in the Federal Government’s Amnesty training programme at Obubra, Cross River.

This was disclosed by Mr. Lawrence Pepple, the Personal Assistant on Technical Matters to Mr. Kingsley Kuku, the Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs to President Goodluck Jonathan in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

Pepple, who spoke to NAN at Obubra after the passing-out ceremony of Batch 15 of the Amnesty Training Scheme, said that the approved allowance was for “Transitional Safety.”

He said the allowance would end the protracted agitation by the ex-militants for the payment of housing allowance since the commencement of the training programme.

The personal assistant disclosed that the 26,358 ex-militants listed for the Obubra training programme would be paid the allowance, adding that more than 18,000 repentant militants had graduated from the programme, which started in 2010.

Pepple, however, could not disclose the amount each beneficiary would be paid, saying: “I am not competent to make such disclosure. At the appropriate time, it will be made public.

“But I know it is different from the monthly stipend of N65,000. This one is called Transitional Safety Allowance (TSA) but some persons have been referring to it as housing allowance.”

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He said that the president’s adviser on Niger Delta was already outside the country to collate the number of persons who had passed through the scheme so that they could be listed for the payment.

“Mr. President magnanimously approved that the package should be paid to everybody who has passed through this process.

“As you know, to whom much is given, much is expected. The President, therefore, directed that the money be paid directly to the beneficiary’s account and to only those who qualified in character and in learning.”

Pepple said that the President had also directed the amnesty officials to go to all areas where the ex-militants were being trained and announce the approval of the allowance to them and to collect their personal data for payment.

“As I am here (Obubra), the Special Adviser, Kuku, is in the offshore training centres to get the names of the ex-militants and their account numbers so that their monies will be paid directly to them.

“So, once we finish this process, it will be made public in the media,” he added.

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