The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh, has appealed to ex-militants on scholarship under the programme to be patient and await the payment of their outstanding training allowances.
Boroh told our correspondent on the telephone on Sunday that the Amnesty Office would pay the outstanding allowances of the ex-agitators as soon as money was released to the office.
The President’s aide said this while reacting to a protest last Wednesday over unpaid allowances by some beneficiaries of the amnesty programme studying at the Benson Idahosa University, Benin, Edo State.
The angry students had shut the gates of the institution to call attention to what they claimed to be seven months arrears of unpaid allowances owed them by the government.
The issue was said to have been resolved by the management of the institution and the leaders of the protesting ex-militants who promised not to take the laws into their hands.
But Boroh said the Amnesty Office had many liabilities and would settle them including the allowances of the students as soon as the account of the office was credited by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Boroh said, “It is normal that each time we have the resources, we will definitely pay all. Whenever the resources are available to the office, we shall pay up our liabilities; there are a lot of liabilities that the office has. Whenever the resources are available, we are going to pay up our liabilities including the allowances of the ex-agitators in Benson Idahosa University.
“It is not deliberate that we have not paid them; we have to prioritise what we have, to ensure that we pay up those who are critical.
“The students should be calm, they would soon be paid, immediately the resources are available, they would be paid. When the CBN credits the Amnesty account, they would be paid; we are still expecting funds from the CBN.”
Also, the Media and Communication consultant to the Amnesty Office, Mr. Owei Lakemfa, said the arrangement under the current administration was for the office to send the list of students and their bank accounts for the CBN to credit them.
He urged the students to be law-abiding and to avoid taking the laws into their hands while they awaited a response from the office. (Punchng.com)