Agency for repentant terrorists to be funded by TETFund, UBEC 

Agency for repentant terrorists to be funded by TETFund, UBEC 

The controversial bill which is proposing a National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalization and Integration of Repentant Insurgen

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The controversial bill which is proposing a National Agency for the Education, Rehabilitation, De-radicalization and Integration of Repentant Insurgents in Nigeria and being sponsored by Senator Ibrahim Geideam representing Yobe East, is expected to get its funding from the Universal Basic Education Commission and the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, The PUNCH is reporting.

The TETFund obtains its funding from a compulsory two per cent profit tax that is paid by all registered companies to the Federal Government. Other sources of funding for the 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’, 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.

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.

The council will also include one representative each from the federal ministries of humanitarian affairs, finance, environment, petroleum resources, North-East Development Commission and the Local Content Board.

The bill which passed its first reading in the Senate on Thursday last week, attracted angry reactions from Nigerians especially the Chibok Community, which was attacked by the insurgents in 2014, and the Christian Association of Nigeria. Also, the #BringBackOurGirls movement, which has been calling for the release of schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in 2014 by the insurgents, said the plan to set up the agency should be done concurrently with the rehabilitation of thousands of internally displaced persons.

Geidam however defended the bill, saying that Boko Haram terrorists were willing to lay down their arms but were afraid of the consequences of their action. The senator explained that his bill was not meant to take care of insurgents captured by the security agencies because those ones would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

Barely two days after the senator defended the controversial bill, 25 Boko Haram members and their wives, who surrendered to troops in Niger Republic, arrived in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, on Wednesday.