Presidential Panel Requres N108b To Feed IDPs In North East

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Yemi Osinbajo
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THE Presidential Committee on North-East Initiatives (PCNI) has lamented that the N45billion budgeted by Federal Government to feed over 2.6 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Boko Haram affected sub-region, was grossly inadequate, compared to what the international community has expended on humanitarian services.

The presidential panel, however requires N108billion to “effectively and efficiently intervene and feed” IDPs in camps and liberated communities of the affected states in Northeast sub-region of the country.

This was disclosed on Monday in Maiduguri by Sen. Mohammed Ali Ndume, who led members of presidential committee to the Deputy Governor of Borno state, Usman Durkwa on the humanitarian crisis to feed displaced persons.

“We want to use this opportunity to also ask the Borno state government to join us members of the National Assembly that are crying out to the Government and to the leadership of the Upper and Lower Chambers to increase the budget for intervention in Northeast from N45billion to N108 billion,” said Sen. Ndume.

He said that the Nigerian Government last year budgeted only N12billion; while this year in the 2017 budget the Federal Government also budgeted a paltry of N45billion.

He lamented that the budgetary allocations to intervene and feed IDPs in the Northeast, was grossly inadequate. “The contributions of the international community and its humanitarian crisis we have in the Northeast is more than that of the government,” noted Ndume.

Citing United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (UN-OCHA), he said: “UN-OCHA has budgeted $1.05 billion (N300 billion) for 2017. In December last year; $449 million was also contributed by the international community.

“That also represent an equivalent of N130 billion, compared to the N45 billion budgeted by Federal Government this year to feed the displaced persons the affected North-East sub-region.”

Sen. Ndume called on Federal and State Governments to at least take the lead or match what the international community is doing to the “traumatized and displaced” persons in the region. He however noted that there is light at the end of tunnel, as President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to addressing the challenges of feeding and resettling IDPs.

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