Nov 24 (Reuters) - Nigeria’s Senate on Tuesday approved 114 billion naira ($755 million) in federal spending for the rehabilitation of thousands of former militants and development of the oil-producing Niger Delta.
The “post-amnesty intervention” funds were part of a 353.6 billion naira supplementary budget for 2009.
Thousands of former gunmen left the creeks of the impoverished Niger Delta to accept President Umaru Yar’Adua’s amnesty offer that expired in October.
The amnesty programme is the most serious effort yet to end unrest at the heart of the OPEC member’s mainstay oil industry and Yar’Adua’s administration — accused of slow progress on everything from fighting corruption to electoral reform — is keen for it to be seen as a success.
A lack of development in the delta despite half a century of of oil extraction is seen as a root cause of instability there.
Following is a breakdown of the proposed capital spending for the Niger Delta.
ROADS 83 BLN 550 MLN
LAND RECLAMATION 10 BLN 66 MLN
AMNESTY REINTEGRATION PROGRAMME 8 BLN 53 MLN
DEVELOPMENT OF NEW TOWNS 8 BLN 53 MLN
INLAND WATERWAYS TRANSPORTATION 5 BLN 33 MLN
TOTAL: 114 BLN 755 MLN (For more Reuters Africa coverage and to have your say on the top issues, visit: af.reuters.com/ ) (Reporting by Randy Fabi; Editing by Nick Tattersall) ((Reuters messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org, Lagos Newsroom +234 1 463 0257)) ($1=150 Naira)