Amnesty | Niger Delta ex-militants to get pay directly from CBN

The federal government has resumed cash payments for former militants in the restive Niger Delta, an official said on Monday, in a bid to end a wave of militant attacks on oil and gas facilities.

In February, the payments were stopped for former militants who agreed under a 2009 amnesty to lay down their arms and end hostilities, blowing of pipelines, in exchange for cash and training.

“Payments of stipends to the ex-militants resumed this Monday. The payments are done directly from the CBN to their bank accounts,” said the amnesty programme’s media officer Piriye Kiyaramo.

“The payment also includes tuition for those studying abroad,” he said. “Their last payment was in February this year. Now we are clearing all outstanding in the payments.”

Each of the former militant is entitled under the amnesty to N65,000 monthly plus job training.

But the government had originally planned to cut the amnesty by two-thirds and limit cash payments amid a budget crisis and graft.

The militants and residents who sympathize with them say they want a greater share of Nigeria’s oil wealth to go to the impoverished region.

Government agents have been holding talks with some militants suspected to behind a recent attacks on pipelines that has reduced Nigeria’s crude output. Hopefully, there will be peace moving forward.