Abuja - The federal government has confirmed the resumption of payments of monthly stipends to ex-militants in response to sustained attacks on oil facilities which have dropped crude production to a 30-year low.
According to Bloomberg, the payment of stipends resumed on Monday, August 1, after coordinator of the presidential amnesty program, Paul Boroh told ex-militants in an e-mailed statement that their delayed stipends would resume.
Boroh assured the militants in the email that there was nothing to fear because the presidency understands their plight and “President Muhammadu Buhari appreciates their patience”.
The federal government is trying to engage militants and other stakeholders to establish a cease-fire, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources Emmanuel Kachikwu said in a meeting broadcast on state television. Oil production has dropped to 1.4 million barrels a day, he said, close to the May average that was the lowest since 1989.
After several years of relative calm, Nigeria’s oil wells and pipelines are being blown up again by a rebel group that says it wants to expose corruption and earn justice for impoverished local communities.
Attacks resumed after Buhari ended security contracts and payments that had turned earlier militants into protectors. The return of violence has worsened economic problems in Nigeria, where oil accounts for two-thirds of government revenue and almost all exports.
News24 earlier reported that a group of ex-militants known as the Former Forest Soldiers (FFS) have denied claims made by the Federal Government that it belongs to the Niger Delta Militants and have also lambasted the government's decision to renege on a cease-fire agreement.
The group says that they have surrendered and are seeking a peaceful transition to disarming but have claimed that the Federal Government are using military force instead of seeking a peaceful dialogue.
- News 24