…says 1,000 housing units completed for Borno IDPs
The Federal Government has said that at least, N33 Trillion ($80 billion) is the amount needed to rebuild the North-East destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents.
Managing Director of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Mohammed Alkali, during the weekly Ministerial Briefing, organized by the Presidential Communication Team, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, disclosed that the amount is what is required to fund the North East Stabilisation and Development Master Plan 2020-2030.
Alkali further revealed that the federal government has completed the construction of 1,000 housing units in the insurgence-ravaged Northeast region, as part of its resettlement efforts for the people of the region.
Speaking further, he disclosed that many of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP), in the Northeast are unwilling to return to their ancestral homes as they have moved òn with thier lives and fully settled in their host communities.
Alkali said the 1,000 houses were built in Ngwom, Borno State, with plans to build 500 housing units in five other affected states each, all at the cost of N17.5bn.
Alkali also revealed that the NEDC has executed 647 projects ranging from agriculture, health, education, energy/power across 112 local government areas in the northeast.
With each LGA gulping at least N50m, the total costs accrued to N5.6bn.
He noted that three bridges have been constructed in Kudzum, Dilechim and Wuro-Ngayandi areas of Adamawa State.
Alkali argued that the lack of a strong education system in the Northeast has fueled the insurgency, therefore, the commission, he explained, created an Education Endowment Fund with a seed capital of N6bn; with plans to dedicate 10 per cent of its annual allocation to the fund.
He also disclosed that not less than N31 trillion ($80 billion) is required to fund the North East Stabilisation and Development Master Plan 2020-2030, adding that the 10-year masterplan would address humanitarian challenges facing the crisis ridden region.
According to him, the Commission hoped to raise 20 per cent of the estimated fund through budgetary allocations while the balance would be sourced from the private sectors, development partners and donor agencies.
The NEDC boss also lamented the dearth of teachers in the region disclosing that about 40 percent of teachers there has either been killed in the insurgency or displaced over time.
Meanwhile, intervening on a question during the briefing, the Executive Director, Humanitarian Affairs at the NEDC, Musa Yashi, revealed many IDPs are not willing to return to their original communities, citing the level of their integration into their host communities.
Fielding questions on the challenges of resettling IDPs back to their home communities torn apart by the Boko Haram insurgency, Yashi noted that 20 to 30 per cent of displaced persons do not live in camps.
This demography, he said, has thrived in communities outside their homelands. Hence, their reticence to return.
Citing the dismal condition of towns across Monguno, he argued that resettlement would require the reconstruction of whole communities; a task so daunting that the NEDC does not have enough funds to undertake at this time.
Reacting to a question on what measures had been put in place to shield the NEDC from corruption, Alkali said the commission was created for a purpose and would ensure judicious utilisation of resources at its disposal and to actualise its mandate for the people.
“You see, these things have to do with institutional issues, individual issues, and so on and so forth. But, in our own case we know that we are created for a purpose, and at the end of the day we believe that posterity will judge us with what we have done with the mandate given to us.
“That is why we are very careful and very prudent in seeing that we propose and execute what we can do with the …. available. Sometimes, yes, there could be political pressure, but always in the commission we are bent on following laid down procedures and see that we are guided by what is feasible and what is prudentially possible to achieve and this is our commitment to the people of the northeast. We as a team now, we want to ensure that whatever is given to us is being protected for their benefit,” he said.