Immigration Vows To Deport Unregistered Visitors From Nigeria After Amnesty

(FILE) Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Muhammed Babandede, speaks during an interview with Channels Television.

 

 

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has warned visitors staying in the country to take advantage of the e-migrant policy to register their status.

According to it, the Federal Government will not hesitate to kick out anyone found culpable after the amnesty granted by the President ends in January 2020.

The Comptroller-General of NIS, Mr Muhammad Babandede, stated this during an interview on Channels Television’s breakfast programme.

“Any person who is not a citizen of Nigeria must register under the amnesty programme,” he said on Monday via Skype on Sunrise Daily.

The Immigration boss warned, “After the amnesty programme, any person who enters this territory and stays for a period of 90 days, there is a penalty for him for not registering and there is a penalty for the person who provides accommodation for him.”

“Before you provide accommodation for a non-Nigerian, you must ensure he or she has registered.

“This amnesty, once it ends, will also remove and arrest any person who has not registered. So we are prepared to remove any person who has not registered from this country after the amnesty,” he added.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest 25 Suspected Cultists In Lagos

According to him, President Muhammadu saw the significance of having correct data of citizens and visitors in the country.

He explained that having correct data and knowing those staying in Nigeria would help the government in making good policies to improve the nation’s economy and tackle its security challenges among others.

“That’s why he (Buhari) gave an amnesty when he launched the e-Migrant Policy on the 12th of July and will expire on the 11th of January, 2020,” the NIS Comptroller-General noted.

He added, “This registration has started and was flagged off in Abuja and surprisingly, almost 35% of those who registered were staying irregularly. So when they register, we direct them to become normal if they are qualified to become normalised.

“All persons are expected to register if they enter Nigeria and stay for a period exceeding 90 days. It is biometric and we are also capturing the picture of the said individual.

“We are linking the registration with NIMC gradually which means one identity for Nigerian, one identity for our visitors.”

The Immigration boss stated that the Service would partner with other law enforcement agencies to remove unregistered persons by the end of the programme next year.

According to him, what Nigerians are doing abroad is connected with identity issue and every person staying in Nigeria will have one identification number.

Buhari Fires Boroh, Appoints Dokubo As Coordinator Of Amnesty Programme

Buhari Fires Boroh, Appoints Dokubo As Amnesty Programme Coordinator
Boroh

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has sacked the Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme for former Niger Delta militants, Brigadier-General Paul Boroh (Retd).

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.

According to Adesina, the President has ordered an investigation into the activities of the programme under Boroh.

“The President directs the National Security Adviser (NSA) to carry out a full investigation into the activities of the Amnesty Programme from 2015 to date, especially allegations of financial impropriety and other acts that are allegedly detrimental to the objectives of the Presidential Amnesty Programme,” he said.

President Buhari appointed Professor Charles Dokubo as Boroh’s replacement.

Professor Dokubo is currently Director of Research and Studies at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs.

He holds a PhD in Strategic Studies from the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, and hails from Abonema, Akuku-Toru Local Government of Rivers State.

Buhari Approves Additional N35bn For Amnesty Programme

File photo

President Muhammadu Buhari has released an additional N35bn for the Amnesty Programme In the Niger Delta, according to the Presidency.

A statement by the spokesperson to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Laolu Akande, said the Federal Government had approved a N20bn allocation for the Amnesty Programme in the 2016 budget, but the President increased the amount.

“President Buhari has now raised the funds, and as appropriated, to N55B with a recent release of additional N30B. There is also a planned release of another N5B later,” the statement issued late Sunday evening said.

According to the statement, the move is aimed at sustaining the new understanding between the Federal Government and oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta, following the meeting between the President and the Pan Niger Delta Forum in November 2016.

The statement explained that it was based on that meeting that Buhari directed the Vice President to embark on a tour of the Niger Delta.

Disclosing that all ex-militants have been paid backlog of their stipends up to the end of 2016, the statement added, “Besides the monthly payment of about N65,000 to N66,000 to the ex-militants, the funds would also go to the provision of reintegration activities under the Amnesty Programme including payment of tuition fees for beneficiaries from Niger Delta who are in post-secondary institutions at home and abroad, payment of in-training & hazard allowances and vocational training costs.”

The Federal Government assured the people of the region that it would keep all of the promises made during the visits by the Vice President to different oil-producing communities.

It cited the directive for the opening of the Maritime University in Delta before the end of the year as further evidence of its commitment to keeping its promises, adding that further announcements would follow “as each of the commitments of the FG to the Niger Delta oil-producing communities reach advanced and implementation stages”.

NDDC Projects: Contractors To Face Prosecution After 30 Days Ultimatum

NDDC Gives Contractors 30 Days to Return to SiteThe Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has given contractors handling its projects 30 days to return to site and complete the projects or face prosecution.

The Managing Director of NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, stated this following an Inter-Ministerial meeting in Abuja chaired by Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

The meeting, which took place over the weekend, had in attendance Ministers of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Environment, Niger Delta, Information and Culture, as well as the Presidential Amnesty Office.

It reviewed the 20-Point Agenda of the Petroleum Ministry with regards to the Niger Delta, as well as the Amnesty Programme and the 16-point demand of the Pan Niger Delta Forum.

Mr Ekere said “a list of such contractors is being compiled in all the nine NDDC states and defaulters would be prosecuted”.

He stressed the need to fast-track the ongoing audit of projects awarded in the Niger Delta region, in line with government directives.

“It is important for our contractors to realise that it can’t be business as usual. President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to change how government business is conducted and everyone must wake up to that reality.

Workable Plan

“But beyond that is the fact that we owe the Niger Delta region and our people the duty to implement and complete these projects, in order to facilitate sustainable regional development.

“This is a necessary process to ensure that things are done properly, how they ought to be done and when they ought to be done. It is important to consolidate the agenda with that of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, as well as the blueprint of the State Governments, the Amnesty Office and the NDDC Master Plan, in order to roll them into one workable plan.

“We are all going to initiate quick-win projects that will give a sense of involvement to government’s approach to handling issues that will impact the people. We will organise frequent town hall meetings with all stakeholders and collaborate in building sustainable economic models for the communities of the Niger Delta,” Ekere said.

The NDDC boss also emphasised the need for the Commission to work with the Ministry of Environment and NOSREA, to facilitate the clean-up exercise in affected areas of oil spill, work on a time frame and encourage IOCs to provide more power to their host communities beyond working with Electricity Distribution Companies.

“Satellite mapping will be used to identify polluted areas in the Niger Delta and a comprehensive plan of action adopted to ensure regional clean-up. This is important because we must ensure that we safeguard our environment and give our people the opportunity and enabling environment to pursue our predominant traditional livelihoods.

“Agriculture and aquaculture are key to facilitating sustainable development in the region, particularly as we seek alternate productive socio-economic activities beyond oil and gas,” he said.

 

Wike Visits Ravaged Communities, Flags Off New Roads

Wike Visits Ravaged Communities, Flags Of New RoadsThe Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has visited communities in Abua Oduah, Emohua and Ikwere local government areas of the state, that had been ravaged by cult wars, incessant killings and other criminal tendencies.

The governor was there to flag off the construction of Rumuji-Ibaa-Obelle-Isiokpo road, as well as the Edeoha-Ikata-Ochigba-Ozocha road, which he said could not have been possible if peace had not been restored.

Farming has been the major occupation of the people in the region, owing to the availability of arable lands and crude oil.

However, development in the area, has been stalled as a result of the incessant cult clashes and killings.

Wike, who lamented the negative effects of the incessant killings in the area, has now assured residents that the government’s priority in the year 2017, is to flag off and complete as many projects as possible, especially as the state marks its Jubilee year.

He then went ahead to thank the youths for accepting the amnesty programme.

How Senators View Nigeria’s 2017 Budget

Senate on 2017 budgetAt least 30 Senators on Wednesday gave their views on areas they feel the Executive Arm of Government needs to focus on if the nation is to attain some level of socio-economic development.

It was the second plenary in the week presided over by Senator Bukola Saraki, the Senate President and the 2017 Budget was one major bill that deliberations focused on.

Some of the areas the senators want the government to prioritise are infrastructure and agriculture.

After the Senate President led the lawmakers into plenary, he demanded that Senators should make their individual contributions to the 2017 Budget.

Senator Olanrewaju Tejuoso spoke on the need to have at least one per cent allocation of the budget to the Health Sector. The Senator also harped on the need for increased personnel provisions for salaries to avoid incessant strikes in the health sector in 2017.

Senator Nelson Effiong identified what he called the focus of the budget on local workforce and commended the five per cent VAT which he believes will build investor confidence.

He also commended the increase in budgetary allocations of the Amnesty Programme from 45 billion Naira in 2016 to 65 billion in 2017.

The low capital expenditure in the budget, was of concern to Senator George Sekibo, who warned that Nigeria was indeed broke and had no money.

He pointed out that there was an increase personnel cost in the 2017 Budget “even when we say we are saving costs” and demanded that contractors should be paid.

While Senator Bassey Akpan lamented the high budget deficit and the poor management of foreign exchange rates, fiscal and monetary policies, he also commended the increased budget allocation towards increasing agricultural production.

Senator Gbenga Ashafa commended the Executive for bringing the MTEF in good time as well as keying-into the revamp of railways.

“We must compare the 2016 Budget’s performance with the estimated allocations in the 2017 Budget,” he said, demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari should tell Nigerians how much funds they had recovered in order to ensure transparency.

Senator Shehu Sani expressed hopes that the allocation to Education in the budget would address the basic issues in the sector while Senator Yele Omogunwa spoke on the factual data and statistics of unemployed, widows and others for National Planning and budget implementation.

Senator Omogunwa further highlighted that Nigeria’s budgets do not have maximal impact due to corruption and mockingly called for the legalisation and liberalisation of corruption.

Senator Jide Omoworare spoke on the need to reduce recurrent and increase capital expenditure. “Government has to spend more.  The allocations for Bank of Industry and Bank of Agriculture should be increased as the nation moves move towards diversification, PPP and Concessioning.

“The Peace in the Niger Delta Region should be sustained and the time line on MTEF and Budgets be reviewed,” he requested.

The Senator further stressed that there was a need to look at developmental planning from the past and improve on it for the future.

On his part, Senator Dino Melaye told the Senate that “truth be told, the 2017 Budget is too ambitious” and that “we borrow to swagger”, harping on the need to develop Agriculture to liberate the economy.

Senator John Enoh, like a professional in developmental economics, focused on the need to increase salaries and wages; high personnel costs; deficit budget; borrowing and revenue projections towards the implementation of the budget.

Senator Biodun Olujimi questioned the success or otherwise of the Treasury Savings Account. She said the Federal Government was paying lip service to diversification.

Senator Matthew Urhoghide spoke on the non-implementation of the Abuja Declaration on allocations to the Health Sector.

Senator Urhoghide further told the 8th Senate that they owed Nigerians a duty to do the right thing by allocating for basic health infrastructures budget.

Senator Sola Adeyeye decried the allocation to the education sector, saying “Nigeria is a pathetically poor country with an entire education budget of 448 billion Naira being 20% of that of Harvard University”.

Senator Adeyeye further identified an increased debt servicing in the 2017 Budget and demanded that cost of government must be reduced.

He said: “We must strengthen our private sector. Power, Road, Railway and Refinery Infrastructure must be developed”.

Senator Abu Ibrahim appreciated President Buhari for plans towards stabilising the country, commending the Social Intervention Plans.

For Senator Ali Ndume, the budget passed annually by the Senate so far lacks details. He says Senators need to know the sub-heads.

Senator Ndume further stressed the need for the allocations towards the humanitarian crisis in the North East to be increased.

After several other Senators took turn to give their views on the budget, the Senate Leader moved that the plenary should be adjourned to the next legislative day, Thursday, to continue the debate on the budget.

Ex-Militants Offer To Help Military Uncover Oil Pipeline Bombers

Militants Offer Partnership With Military To Uncover Oil Pipeline BombersLeaders of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in Edo state say they are willing to work with the military to fish out those who are involved in the bombing of oil pipelines in the Niger Delta region.

Mr Reuben Wilson spoke on behalf of the ex-militants under the aegis of Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative during a press briefing in Benin City the Edo state capital.

He said that the approval of the 2017 budget for the amnesty programme by President Muhammadu Buhari was a sign of his commitment to restore total peace to the Niger Delta region.

“We were there before embracing amnesty and we know every in and out of that area. That is why I said it here that we will work hand to hand with the security agencies.

“That place is not strange for us, it is (a place) where we have operated in those days before accepting amnesty.

“So we will go down and work hand in hand with security agencies if we are accepted. That is one thing. If the security agencies want us to work hand in hand with them, we will work and we know total peace will come back,” he said.

The Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh said the ex-militants have embraced the agriculture programme of the Federal Government.

He said: “Like the Peremabiri Rice Farm, am making arrangement with the Minister of Water Resources. That farm is not under the Ministry of Agriculture, it is under the Ministry of Water Resources.

“I met with the Minister and he is very happy and we are planning to go together even though I have the knowledge of the place so that we can use it as part of the training ground to train the ex-agitators so that they can have first-hand information about how rice is being farmed.”

Ex-Militants Receive Two Months Stipends

Ex-Militants Receive Two Months Stipends Ex-militants under the Presidential Amnesty Programme now have a reason to smile as they have been paid their stipends for the months of August and September, 2016.

The ex-militants who have been threatening to return to the creeks if their stipends were not paid, have been advised to be patient as the remaining three months stipends would also be paid.

A leader of Phase 3 of the Amnesty Programme, Mr Ramsey Mukoro, who spoke with Channels Television correspondent, confirmed that they have received two months payment out of their arrears.

He said: “The Amnesty Office has started paying but my third phase people have yet to get alerts. We are hoping that we in the third phase will benefit soon as well.

“It has really been difficult for us. We spent Christmas and New Year on empty stomach. The government should try to make the payment go round quick.”

Also, the Liaison Officer, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Bayelsa State Office, Mr Piriye Kiyaramo, confirmed that the Amnesty Office began the payment after the New Year holidays.

In a statement, Kiyaramo said, “The Amnesty Office commenced payment of the outstanding stipends this week after the New Year, precisely on Wednesday.

“The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (rtd.), is concerned about the welfare of beneficiaries in the programme.

“He would stop at nothing until a sustainable re-integration of the ex-agitators into the society with sustainable source of livelihood.”

The commencement of payment of allowances came a few days after chairmen of Phase 1 and 2 of Bayelsa State Amnesty Programme, Mr Excel Divine, and Salvation Ibina-Rufus, respectively, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene.

They had opined that the President’s quick intervention would douse the tension already mounting in the region over the unpaid arrears.

Ex-Militants Set To Be Trained In Advanced Farming Methods

Ex-Militants Set To Be Trained In Advanced Farming MethodsA total of 500 ex-militants in Bayelsa State have just benefited from the Presidential Amnesty programme.

The ex-militants have been sent to the National Bio-resources Centre, Odi, to train in advanced farming methods.

The beneficiaries will be trained in the application of verified scientific technologies to increase yields in crop and animal farming.

Speaking at the launch of the training, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (Rtd), described investments in agriculture as key and imperative to the country’s national and economic growth.

He said: “Today’s economy remind us of what we have taken for granted and how with dedication and focus, we can turn the tide, using agriculture as the harbinger for economic greatness.

“It is not enough to clamour for diversification of the economy, we must walk the talk by raising a generation, which sees agriculture as a viable business platform and is willing to push the frontiers”.

Boroh said the programme would engender an atmosphere in the Niger Delta where youths can embrace commercial agriculture to reduce unemployment, thereby increasing food security and production.

He added: “The rich bio-diversity of the Niger Delta provides opportunities to explore the agricultural value chain production. We must take steps to become a giant in agro-allied businesses.’’

The Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency, Prof. Lucy Ogbadu hailed the Amnesty Office for taking the initiative to send the ex-militants to the centre for the advanced agricultural training.

“We are a centre dedicated to excellence with the required manpower to train entrepreneurs in agriculture by utilising the knowledge in contemporary farming methodology to give an edge to today’s farmer,” she said.

Ogbadu said that the youth should use the knowledge and skills they would acquire to improve their lives and impact on the society.

The youths will be trained in advanced methods in mushroom cultivation, fisheries, snail and grass cutter farming.

Other areas include poultry technology and crop farming.

Agricultural empowerment tools will be given to beneficiaries at the end of training.

Benue Government Issues Ultimatum On Arms Surrendering

Benue, ultimatum, arms surrender, amnesty programmeThe Benue state Governor, Samuel Ortom on Friday, gave the Agatu community the ultimatum to surrender all illegal weapons in their possession, or stand at risk of prosecution.

The directive which came after the state council meeting that took place on Friday, is part of efforts in the avowed determination the government to rid the state of illegal arms.

Governor Ortom said that the opportunity given to Agatu people is under the amnesty program of his government.

He said “the Benue state executive council took this decision of the order of illegal weapons, under the state’s amnesty program as conditions for security protection against herdsmen attack”.

The youths of the area have told the governor they will abide by the ultimatum as long as there is show of sincerity.

Amnesty: No Cash For Arms Returned, Wike Tells Repentant Cultists

Rivers Amnesty: More Cultists Surrender ArmsThe Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike, on Friday told persons who gave up their arms in the state’ amnesty programme that there will be ‘no cash for arms’.

Ex-militants and cultists surrendered their arms few days ago in a state-organised amnesty programme aimed at ending violence in the southern Nigeria State.

Governor Wike gave the government’s position at a meeting with the President and National Executives of Ijaw National Congress held at the state Government House in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

At the meeting the group canvassed for reintegration of repentant cultists and suspected criminals.

They had suggested that the government should set up a reintegration and rehabilitation plan for cultists and suspected criminals who had accepted the government’s amnesty programme offered by the president of the congress, Charles Harry.

The amnesty programme, which was set up by the government less than three months ago, has seen thousands of cultists and suspected criminals across various local government areas in the state, lay down their arms and accept pardon with a promise not to go back to their criminal lifestyles.

But one of the worries has been how to get these youths back to normal life in the society, an issue that was focused on at the meeting.

Mr Charles Harry, said: “We believe in the amnesty programme of the state government, but we think that it must of necessity follow the United Nations Declaration of DDR programmes which will not only disarm but will have a reintegration programme back to the society”.

Responding, the governor assured the congress that the government would develop a plan that would accommodate the reintegration of repentant cultists and suspected criminals.

“As regards the amnesty programme, your suggestion is very good. We can’t even debate about it. We will develop a plan for those who have surrounded their arms to find something doing to earn a living and be reintegrated back to the society.

“But one thing we will not do is to give cash for arms. No! If we do that, it will encourage others,” Governor Wike insisted.

The rehabilitation and reintegration programme of the state government for repentant cultists and suspected criminals is expected to start as soon as possible, the government has said.

An amnesty programme of the Federal Government in 2009 had offered financial support to persons that turned in their arms, something that some of the persons that responded to the River’s Amnesty Programme may have expected.

Lawmakers Query Buhari’s Request For External Loan

Lawmakers, External loan, Muhammadu BuhariSome members of the House of Representatives have questioned President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for a $29.9 billion loan from foreign financial institutions.

Following the rejection of the request by the Senate, the lawmakers demanded for details of the loan from the Executive, to enable them appreciate the need for the loan.

Some of the members of the House who queried the request for the loan on Wednesday were Johnson Agbonayinma, Animu Suleiman and Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje.

The legislators said that despite the good intentions of President Buhari, they have reservations about his team.

Considering the development, analysts say it is not clear yet when the House of Representatives will consider the President’s request.

They, however, noted that the issue must be quickly resolved as it had implications for the 2017 budget, which is yet to be presented to the National Assembly by the Executive.

President Buhari had written to the National Assembly to seek its approval for an external loan to ensure the prompt implementation of projects.

President Buhari said that the projects cut across agriculture, health, education, and water supply.

The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday refused to approve President Buhari’s request to borrow $29.6 billion.

The matter went into a voice vote when it was brought forward and the nays had it.

The senators turned down the external borrowing request due to what they called “lack of documents supporting the request as referenced in the letter”.