The Senate Committee Chairman on Finance, Ali Ndume, has advocated for more fund to be allocated for rebuilding North-east which has been destroyed by Boko Haram.
Senator Ndume, a member of the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI), who made the request after the PCNI visited the Borno State Deputy Governor, Usman Durkwa, says the Federal Government’s N45 billion allocation in the 2017 budget for intervention in Nigeria’s North-east is not adequate.
The group’s visit was to declare its donation of food items which were offloaded at the warehouse of the National Emergency Management Agency in Maiduguri.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank the international community, and I have said this even on the floor of the National Assembly that the contribution of the international community and its commitment to the humanitarian crisis we have in the northeast is more than that of the government.
“We are now calling on the government using this medium to at least take the lead or match what the international communities do.”
The Senator noted further that foreign aid and commitment to the plight of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have continued to dwarf government’s effort over the years.
“So far the humanitarian response plan under what we call UNOCHA is budgeting $1.05 billion for 2017 (and) if you turn that into Naira, it translates into over N300 billion.
“As at December last year, $449 million was donated by the international community; that also represents about N130 billion.
“Unfortunately last year, the Nigerian Government budgeted only N12 billion. In this year’s budget, it budgeted only N45 billion (and) that also is grossly inadequate.
“So we ask the Borno State government to join us and other members of the National Assembly that are crying out to the government and to the leadership of the National Assembly to increase the budget for the intervention in the northeast from a paltry 45 billion Naira to at least 108; that is our call.” Senator Ndume stated.
Mr. Durkwa, on his part, thanked the PCNI for the food donations which he said would go a long way in complementing the feeding of the IDPs as part of efforts in rebuilding North-east.
He, however, urged donors to consider providing building materials in subsequent interventions to speed up the re-settling process of the displaced persons.
“We say we are grateful and we ask for more. Now that we are in the post-insurgency stage, it’s time to now carry out constructions and resettle our people back to their base.
“That means we expect more apart from the food security. We are still asking for building materials to complement the effort of the state government,” the deputy governor stated.
The Borno State government is presently carrying out the rebuilding North-east by the rebuilding of homes destroyed by the Boko Haram terrorists in Bama, Gwoza, Konduga and Kaga local government area of the state.
Boko Haram terrorists who have ravaged the northeast region of the country, have reduced most parts of the region into rubbles and ghost communities in the near seven-year-old senseless and demonic war on Nigerians.
They have killed thousands and left in its trail millions of internally displaced Persons (IDPs) as well as an awful magnitude of destroyed properties.