The Senate has asked the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, to release outstanding N15 billion from the 2016 budget to the Presidential Amnesty Programme.
The Senate also mandated the Committee on Niger Delta to investigate the circumstances leading to funding constraints affecting the programme, with a view to avoiding re-occurrence and report back in two weeks.
The Upper chamber further mandated the committee to investigate how certain names not belonging to Abia and Akwa Ibom states surfaced in the Amnesty Programme.
These resolutions were made following a motion by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP-Delta North), in which he urged the Senate to intervene and avert looming resurgence of restiveness in the region.
Presenting the motion, Nwaoboshi expressed concern on the challenges facing the programme due to paucity of funds arising from delayed and staggered release of funds from the 2016 Appropriation Act.
He warned that the situation should be urgently addressed because it had started threatening the well-conceived amnesty programme of the Federal Government.
He said that the Amnesty Office was finding it difficult to meet its obligation to its workers and beneficiaries of the programme, noting that N20 billion was appropriated in 2016 for the programme.
He further said that the sum of N35 billion was further appropriated by the Senate in a Supplementary Appropriation, which went a long way in improving funds appropriated for the programme in the 2016 fiscal year.
Nwaoboshi lamented that only the sum of N40 billion had been released, leaving a balance of N15 billion.
Supporting the motion, Senator Baba Kaka Garbai (APC-Borno) urged the Federal Government to release the needed funds to settle arrears being owed beneficiaries to avoid chaos.