Senate proposes foreign education sponsorship for repentant Boko Haram terrorists

According to reports from the Senate, repentant Boko Haram terrorists are to embark on an educational scholarship; with funding from the Universal Basic Education Commission and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.

This plan to rehabilitate Boko Haram terrorists is under the aegis of the proposed National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of Repentant Insurgents in Nigeria.

It was further garnered that other sources of funding include; donations, grants, annual subventions from the government and counterpart funding from the six North-East states of Borno, Bauchi, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba and Gombe.

The controversial bill, which is officially known as; ‘A Bill for the Establishment of the National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalisation and Integration of Repentant Insurgents in Nigeria and for Other Connected Purposes’; passed the first reading in the Senate on Thursday, February 20.

However, this bill sponsored by the Senator representing Yobe East, Ibrahim Geideam, met with nationwide condemnation especially Chibok residents.

Furthermore, the #BringBackOurGirls movement accused the senator of pandering to Boko Haram terrorists; rather than address the plight of thousands of internally displaced persons.

But on Monday, February 24, Geidam, in an interview with journalists, defended the bill.

He said many Boko Haram terrorists were willing to lay down their arms; but were afraid of the consequences of their action.

A copy of the bill on the agency for Boko Haram repentant terrorists; states that one per cent of TETFund and UBEC fund will be used in funding the agency for rehabilitating the terrorists.

The agency will also be funded by 0.5 per cent of the federal allocation of the six North-East states.

It further revealed that TETFund obtains its funding from a compulsory two per cent profit tax that is paid by all registered companies to the Federal Government.

Section 10 of the controversial bill reads in part, “The agency shall establish and maintain a fund which will consist of initial take-off grant from the Federal Government; annual subvention from the government; states counterpart funding which will be deducted at source at 0.5 per cent of their statutory allocation; 1 per cent of the Education Tax Fund (TETFund) and UBEC fund.”

According to the proposed law, the agency will also be funded by grants in aid, gift, testamentary dispositions, endowments and donations.

The bill states that the proposed agency shall have a governing board; which shall consist of the chairman who is to be appointed by the President in consultation with the National Assembly.

The governing council will also have one representative from each of the North-East states; one representative each of the stakeholders, three representatives of the impacted communities; one person from the Nigerian Army, air force, navy, police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps; all of whom must not be below the rank of lieutenant colonel.


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