Include Isoko Youths in Amnesty Programme, House Urges FG

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• Approves N70.6bn budget for NCC
Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the federal government to include the youth of Isoko ethnicity of Delta State, in its amnesty programme.

The House noted that the Isoko youths, have not been involved in pipeline vandalisation even though long stretches of pipelines crisscross their communities.

It therefore directed its Committee on Governmental Affairs to liaise with the Presidential Adviser on the Amnesty Programme, with a view to include the Isoko Youths in the Programme.

The resolution followed a motion sponsored by the Minority Leader, Hon. Leo Ogor (Delta PDP) who lamented that the amnesty programme, at inception, did not include youths from areas of the Niger Delta who were not destructive.

Ogor added that Isoko produces the highest quantity of onshore crude oil, and its youths have been protecting the pipelines without payments or contracts from the federal government.

“The non-inclusion of the peaceful, law-abiding, non-restive and protective youths of the Isoko ethnic nationality in the Amnesty programme was a major error that sent a strong signal and acted as an invitation for the peaceful youths to join their colleagues to carry out vandalisation of oil facilities,” he said.

He added that Bakassi youths, in Cross River State, have also been peaceful and have not been involved in pipeline vandalism.

In another development, the lawmakers approved the issuance of the sum of N70.6 billion as 2016 Appropriation for the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

Following the adoption of the report of the House Committee on Telecommunications chaired by Hon. Saheed Akinade Fijabi, the lawmakers approved the sum of N22.2 billion as recurrent expenditure while N15.6 billion was approved for capital expenditure.

“No part of the amount above mentioned shall be released from the statutory revenue fund of the NCC after the end of the year mentioned in the schedule to this bill,” the report read.