Senate probes N330b Amnesty fund

The Senate on Thursday launched investigation into activities of the Presidential Amnesty programmes with the aim of ascertaining how the N330 billion accumulated budget of the programme was spent.

The upper chamber said the investigation became necessary following reports that despite huge sums of funds allocated to the programmes to cater for ex-militants, militancy in the Niger Delta region is on the increase.

The lawmakers’ findings showed that since the inception of the amnesty programme in 2009, over N330 billion had been budgeted for the programme.

At least N65 billion was voted for the programme in 2016.

The Senate therefore is suspecting funds mismanagement by the programme handlers.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who inaugurated the investigative hearing, said the Amnesty programme was created by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to curb restiveness in the Niger Delta region.

He said seven years down the line, “we should ask ourselves whether the objectives of the programme have been achieved”.

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