2nd January, 2014
Nigeria’s Federal Government will spend N63.28 billion on Niger Delta former militants in 2014, figures in the new budget reveal.
Out of the amount, stipends and allowance for an estimated 30,000 militants will gulp N23.6 billion, about half of the N48billion spent on the militants in 2012.
This year, a programme for the re-integration of the militants will also cost the Nigerian treasury N35billion. Two years ago, the programme of re-integration cost N924million.
Operational cost for the running of the programme called Presidential Amnesty Programme is estimated at N3.7 billion, far less than the N12.8billion spent in 2012.
There is an additional charge of N546million this year, meant for what is called ‘reinsertion, transition safety allowances for 3,642 former militants who fall under a third phase of the amnesty programme.
Statistically, Nigeria will spend an estimated N2million on every militant captured by the programme this year.
Last year, the amnesty programme gulped N66.28 billion. It gulped N66.17 billion in 2012.
In contrast, the Federal Government proposes to spend just N2billion on a pilot initiative to ameliorate the poverty in Nigeria’s Northeast, where a five year insurgency by Boko Haram militants has cost thousands of lives, and created a climate of insecurity.
The Federal Government special allocation to the three states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, represents just a part of what the programme will cost as the states in the region are also expected to make contributions.
Foreign and local analysts have blamed the raging insurgency in the region to poverty and have called on the government to do something about it.
The Federal response to these calls, which President Jonathan hinted at a programme in Gombe recently is the N2billion allocation.
While the amnesty programme for the Niger Delta militants takes 6.8 per cent of the ‘consolidated revenue fund charges’ estimated at N925.1 billion, Nigeria proposes to spend just about N8billion on job creation scheme, an acute national crisis and another N1billion on ‘Quick Win’, an empowerment programme in which Nigerian youths compete for Federal assistance to start their own enterprises.