16th February, 2016
Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd), the special adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Niger Delta and Presidential Amnesty Programme said on Monday that 3,232 beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme will exit the programme by the end of the month as the FG begins to wind down on the programme.
He noted that the FG is set to end Amnesty programme in 2018.
Boroh who spoke to journalists in Abuja said the exit, the first of such by the Amnesty Programme involves beneficiaries who have been trained as entrepreneurs and have received their business and set up starter packs and 400 others who the office had helped to secure employment in different organizations.
The exit if the beneficiaries, Boroh said, will save the government over N2.5 billion in stipend payments. In the same vein, the Presidential Adviser said a second batch of 1,042 are currently being given starter packs to establish their individual businesses and will soon exit from the programme, resulting in further savings of N812.7 million for government.
He added that depending on budgetary allocation and release, the office of the Presidential Amnesty Programme plan to exit additional 2,958 beneficiaries this year resulting in further savings of over N2.3 billion in stipend savings for the federal government.
This exercise is a significant step in the five year Amnesty Programme which had never exited any of the 30,000 beneficiaries said Boroh.
The Presidential Adviser said the exit of the beneficiaries which is part of the exit strategy of the Amnesty Office which is designed to round off the programme in the next two years.
The Special Adviser said a committee has been set up to work out and implement the Exit Strategy with timelines that will not compromise security.
The Presidential Adviser who noted that the has so far trained 17,322 of the beneficiaries, leaving a balance of 12,678 said the exit strategy is necessary because the programme is expensive and cannot go on forever.
He also added that the Amnesty office has embarked on domestication of its programmes with only five of the 49 training institutions outside of Nigeria while it also has students in 131 tertiary abroad.
Boroh also said with effect from 2015/16 session, 95 per cent of students’ beneficiaries of the programme will be deployed to local institutions.
He noted that the Programme has in the past five years secured admission and given scholarship to 5,234 beneficiaries in tertiary institutions. The Presidential Adviser said of the number 3,082 gained admission in the country, 2,150 abroad while 272 have graduated.