Amnesty Programme: Officials Failed To Account For N712bn, Says Monguno
The National Security Adviser,(NSA) has said the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme has so far been absorbed in issues that are a departure from the purpose for which it was established. The NSA, , who led the Interim Coordinator of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme, to a meeting with the President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, said that N712bn was not accounted for by the programme. He said, “The predatory instincts of certain individuals came into the fore and the programme was turned upside down and as a result of this, there was a lot of corruption, waste and mismanagement within this period. “712bn was wasted, basically unaccounted for, and this is due to so many issues, corruption being at the core. Now we realised that, if the focus of the people who are supposed to drive this programme is to capsize the programme by allowing their own personal interest to come in, then we are all going to be in trouble. If the Niger Delta is in trouble, consequently, it will extend to the rest of the federation. Therefore, i had to take this step to advise Mr President that this waste cannot go on. This programme is not supposed to be an open ended programme.” The Interim Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme also lamented that endemic corruption had crept into the programme set up by the administration of the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and derailed it, with contractors being owed over N71bn. “Regrettably, the programme has now been running for 11 years without the desired benefits delivered to the ex agitators. Rather, the ex agitators database was dishonestly corrupted, and several contracts were awarded in total disregard of need and procurement processes.
According to the Interim Coordinator, the programme is not sustainable in its current form. “Reports have shown that not much progress has been recorded in some aspects of the demobilisation and reintegration components of the programme.