The Ministry of Budget and National Planning has described claims that N29b was budgeted to fight militancy in the Niger Delta 2017 in the budget submitted to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari as false.
The story, which was published in a national newspaper quotes a member of the Central Working Committee of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Dr. Alfred Mulade, as saying the Federal Government has earmarked the sum of N29 billion in the 2017 budget, specifically to fight militancy in the Niger Delta.
But the Ministry of Budget and National Planning in a statement signed by James Akpandem, spokesperson to the Minister of Budget and National Planning described the story as erroneous.
While faulting the claim, the Ministry noted that, “The relevant section of Dr Mulade’s purported statement did not even indicate that the speculated provision was contained in the 2017 Budget.
“Instead, it stated: “To make matters worse, the government is reported to have earmarked a whooping N29 billion of oil revenue to fight militancy in the Niger Delta region.”
“It must be clearly stated that there is no such provision in the 2017 Budget Proposals presented by the President, so we have absolutely no idea where this story is coming from.
“Indeed, the President has consistently and categorically stated that the focus of his Administration in 2017 will be to ‘continue to pursue peace initiatives in the Niger Delta’ through dialogue and engagement.
“It is for this reason that, amongst other projects earmarked for the Niger Delta, the sum of N65 billion has been provided in the 2017 Budget proposals for the re-integration of transformed ex-militants under the Presidential Amnesty Programme.”