| YENAGOA, Nigeria March 17
YENAGOA, Nigeria March 17 Nigeria's amnesty
programme which provides vocational training and stipends to
former militants who attacked oil facilities in its Niger Delta
energy hub is struggling with a shortfall of funds, a special
adviser to the president said.
The government has been in talks with militants to end the
attacks which cut Nigeria's output by 700,000 barrels a day
(bpd) for several months last year, reducing total production at
that time to about 1.2 million bpd. It has since climbed.
Under the amnesty programme, each former militant is
entitled to 65,000 naira ($213.68) a month plus job training
"The main challenges the Presidential Amnesty Office has
faced is inadequate funds," Paul Boroh, special adviser to the
president and coordinator of the amnesty programme, said late on
Thursday. His comments were sent to journalists on Friday.
Boroh said the funding problems meant the tuition fees of
some ex-militants in local and international universities had
not been paid. He added that most vocational training had
stopped, affecting 1,770 participants.
"Inadequate funding has also limited the capacity of the
office to empower delegates and exit them from the programme,"
said Boroh. But he said the situation was "being reversed" with
the release of more funds to the amnesty office.
He did not say when the funds would be released.
The damage from attacks on Nigeria's oil industry has
exacerbated a downturn in Africa's largest economy, which
slipped into recession in 2016 for the first time in 25 years,
largely due to low oil prices.
Crude oil sales make up around two thirds of government
(Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Edmund Blair)