Politics Buhari Promises to Re-engineer Amnesty Programme


kemi

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to “re-engineer” the Niger Delta amnesty programme for former militants.

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The programme was designed to stem attacks that have slashed oil exports but set to be scrapped.

The announcement, made in a televised speech marking his first year in office, is an apparent reversal from earlier this year when his government pledged to end the scheme by 2018.

“On the Niger Delta, we are committed to implementing the United Nations Environment Programme report and are advancing clean-up operations,” said Buhari.

“I believe the way forward is to take a sustainable approach to address the issues that affect the delta communities. Re-engineering the amnesty programmes is an example of this,”

The costly programme introduced in 2009 after years of violence by militants pays monthly stipends to 30,000 former militants as well as offering them training opportunities.

A wave of recent attacks on Nigeria’s oil infrastructure has seen the country’s oil output drop to the lowest level in two decades, putting pressure on the Nigerian government to restore peace in the southern swamplands.

“The recent spate of attacks by militants disrupting oil and power installations will not distract us from engaging leaders in the region,” Buhari said.
 
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