The presidential amnesty office has commenced the payment of outstanding stipends to ex-militants who are beneficiaries of the amnesty programme.

This is in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari, who appointed a coordinator for the programme late July. Buhari named Tarila Boroh as amnesty coordinator and special adviser on Niger Delta on July 28.

On assumption of office, Boroh set up a seven-man committee to undertake a verification exercise of claims ahead of the payments.

However, on Friday, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) started with the May stipend of N65,000 per beneficiary.

“The outstanding stipends will be paid in batches. We have commenced payment with the outstanding May 2015 stipends.

That of June and July will be paid afterwards,” Daniel Alabrah, amnesty’s head of media and communication, said.

“The outstanding allowances and school/training fees of beneficiaries will be cleared at the end of the ongoing verification exercise of genuine claims.

“Hopefully, the other payments will commence soon once the verification team concludes its exercise.”

Boroh commended Buhari for approving the payment.

“Mr. President has by his approval demonstrated his commitment to strengthening of the amnesty programme,” Alabrah quoted him as saying.

“It is heartwarming that he graciously approved funds so as to quickly resolve the issues that have affected the smooth running of the programme.

“Now beneficiaries whose training or studies have been affected can look forward to resuming their studies sooner than later.

We are committed to a quick resolution of all outstanding issues, including the training fees.”