Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, Col. Milland Dikio (rtd), has assured that the reforms been introduced into the scheme will resolve all bureaucratic bottlenecks hampering prompt payment of stipends to the beneficiaries of the programme.
Dikio, who gave this assurance in Port Harcourt, Rivers State over the weekend when he met with leaders of phases one, two and three of the scheme, said this would stop series of protests by ex-militants over delay of their stipends.
While stating that some persons tried to discourage him from touring the region citing security challenges, the Amnesty boss who has been on a tour of the oil-rich region, insisted that his reforms had made prompt payment of the beneficiaries’ stipends possible.
He said his tour was aimed at returning the programme back to its original owners, insisting that PAP was initially designed for ex-militants only.
“There were too many bureaucracy in the system which often resulted in the incessant delays in the payment of the N65,000 monthly stipend”, he said.
“I was in Okochiri in Okrika on Friday where I met with the Big 5 in the palace of King Ateke Tom and it was a fruitful meeting. Today, I am also meeting with you all to reinforce my vision for the PAP.
“Over time people have confused the programme for the package. They are different and it is good that you understand that so that we can all be on the same page.
“If we learn the lessons of the past then we can do better. Our region has been left behind. Everything shouldn’t be about protest. The more we stabilize the region, the more we will attract businesses,” he added.
Leader of the first phase of the PAP, Pastor Reuben Wilson, in his response, said the new vision of Dikio would make the programme run seamlessly, adding that the idea to host the meeting in the region has further boosted their confidence in him.