Coordinator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd), yesterday said the amnesty office is determined to actualise its mandate of empowering youths in the Niger Delta region. Boroh, who is also the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja. He said money appropriated for the programme is usually channeled towards payment of monthly stipends, and funding of tertiary education for students under its scholarship among others.
Boroh said: “PAP receives its funding from the National Budget as appropriated by the National Assembly.
“All its disbursement whether for monthly stipends, school fees, intraining- allowances and payment of contractors or staff allowances are done through the Treasury Single Account (TSA), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“In specific case of the beneficiaries, they all have personal bank accounts to which all their entitlements are paid. The bank verification number in the country ensures that no individual can have more than one number, which indicates that an individual should not be able to collect another beneficiary’s allowance.” He said there had been increasing demands on the office, especially by youths in the region for employment, training and empowerment lately.
Boroh said some youths applied for scholarship to study in tertiary institutions, and assured them that efforts were being made to ensure that their dreams of acquiring education were attained even abroad. The coordinator added that some youths even demand for infrastructure development, including provisions of roads, schools, health centres, and decent housing among others in their communities. He said it was not part of PAP’s mandate to provide such facilities as it had no appropriation for such.
Boroh pointed out that the mandate of the office is to cater for the beneficiaries who took the Presidential Amnesty proclaimed by late President Musa Yar’Adua administration, to ensure their sustainable reintegration into the society for peace and stability in the region. He explained that the mandate given to the office was to cater for 30,000 exmilitants, who embraced the programme on or before Oct. 4, 2009 deadline for them to drop their arms.
The Presidential aide, however, alleged that some politicians were colluding with youths in some Niger Delta states to stage protest demanding for payment of non-existing housing allowances to ex militants among others.