…Says reports were misleading.
The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has debunked reports suggesting that its Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio, (rtd) was unable to account for N3.7bn paid to ex-agitators and contractors when he appeared before the House of Representative Committee on Public Accounts.
Col. Dikio (rtd) described the reports that emanated from the committee’s hearing as misleading because the payments were made by past leadership of PAP between 2015 and 2016.
The Administrator in a statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media, Nneotaobase Egbe, said he only assumed office of Interim Administrator, PAP in September 2020.
Dikio said he was still in the process of putting things in their proper place to facilitate the realisation of PAP’s mandate.
He said since he assumed office, he has been focused on restoring the mandate of the programme to its original intent of transforming the delegates into skilled and employable citizens with the capacity to meaningfully contribute to the development of the Niger Delta region, while correcting the anomalies that he met in the office, which the queries alluded to in the first instance.
He said it was not his intention to focus on mistakes of past administrations that truncated the advancement of human capital development of the Niger Delta region, rather he was keen to learn from past mistakes, repair the broken foundations, build on it and work towards making the Niger Delta the best and most secure place to live and do business in Nigeria.
He said: “When I assumed duties as Interim Administrator of this Programme, I was not interested in probing any individual. My main focus is on the mission I was tasked to deliver– which is to ensure that our delegates are successfully and properly reintegrated into the society.
“This is why, after reviewing the structure that was being used for reintegration, I saw that it does not cater for delegates in any meaningful way. It is for this reason that the new end-to-end empowerment model was introduced. It ensures that delegates are trained, mentored and employed, so that there can be a gradual exit from dependence on N65,000 monthly stipends.”
The Interim Administrator reiterated that the vision of PAP was to ensure post-DDR settlement of the 30,000 ex-militants who had not all been properly reintegrated into the society after dropping their arms in 2009.
He appealed for calm among the delegates, assuring them that PAP as a security programme would continue to rise to its task and would not take issues with persons, who lacked the basic understanding of the programme.
He said PAP was committed to spending its monies judiciously and prudently, adding that the Programme had no funds to share.
He said that the Programme was already owing about N71bn and was still in the process of clearing the debts, as one of its priorities.
Dikio was appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020 to oversee the PAP with a mandate to restore the PAP to its original intent of peace, security and manpower development in the Niger Delta.