The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has resumed payment of N65,000 per month to ex-militants as the federal government seeks to end vandalism in the Niger Delta.
According to Piriye Kiyaramo, an officer in the government’s amnesty office, the ex-militants were paid two-month arrears on Wednesday.
“Two months of the ex-militants’ stipends were paid yesterday… the rest of their stipends will be paid later in batches by (central bank) CBN,” Reuters quoted Kiyaramo to have said.
Kiyaramo also disclosed that the payment was for August and September 2016.
President Muhammadu Buhari had slashed the allocation to the amnesty programme in the controversial 2016 budget, but he tripled the allocation in the 2017 budget following unrest and negotiations in the region.
Speaking at the 2017 budget presentation, the president had said: “The increased vote of N9.52 billion for the Federal Ministry of Environment (an increase of 92% over the 2016 allocation) underscores the greater attention to matters of the environment, including climate change and leveraging private sector funding for the clean-up of the Niger Delta.
“Provision has also been made in these estimates for activities that will foster a safe and conducive atmosphere for the pursuit of economic and social activities.
“In this regard, the allocation for the Presidential Amnesty Programme has been increased to N65 billion in the 2017 Budget.”
The 2009 amnesty programme entitles each militant to N65,000 per month and a job/vocational training.
The nation’s minimum wage stands at N18,000 per month.