Presidential panel demands at least N108b budget for IDPs in N'East

By Ibrahim Gwamna Mshelizza

The Presidential Committee on North-East Initiatives (PCNI) has described the N45 billion budgeted by Federal Government to feed over 2.6 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Boko Haram affected sub-region, as grossly inadequate.

Sen. Mohammed Ali Ndume, member of the committee said , compared to what the international community has budgeted for humanitarian services the amount falls far short of expectation stressing that they need at least 108 billion Naira to make meaningful impact.

Sen. Mohammed Ali Ndume, who led members of presidential committee to the Deputy Governor of Borno state, Usman Durkwa on a courtesy visit stated that even this amount cannot feed all the displaced

“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 N45 billion to N108 billion,” Sen. Ndume said.

He disclosed that the Nigerian Government budgeted only N12 billion last year while in the 2017 budget the Federal Government

budgeted a paltry sum of N45 billion.
“The contributions of the international community on humanitarian crisis

in the Northeast is more than that of the government,” Ndume noted.

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 affected in the 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 the tunnel, as President Muhammadu Buhari is committed in addressing the challenges of feeding and resettling IDPs.