The Senate yesterday began the probe of funds expended on the Presidential Amnesty Program since its conception during the era of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2009.
An investigative hearing was yesterday launched into the programme from 2009 to date.
A former Presidential Adviser on Niger Delta under former president Goodluck Jonathan, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, had in 2014 said N243bn was spent on the programme from 2009 to 2014.
It was gathered that N65bn and N20bn was budgeted for the program in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the investigative hearing, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta (PDP, Delta North), said the programme recorded some level of success as the nation and the Niger Delta region in particular had enjoyed relative peace, stable economic activities and public order until recently.
He said the programme targeted over 30,000 ex-militants in the region with a view to providing them safe heavens in the first instance, and engaging them in various vocational skills development and career pursuits designed to equip them with better and sustainable economic life.
Declaring open the hearing, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki said greed and personal interests were largely the reason why, despite all the interventionist programmes, the Niger Delta region still remained largely underdeveloped.