Boko Haram: Nigerian govt, six states allocate N792.7 billion for infrastructure, others

Borno state on map used to illustrate the story
Borno state on map used to illustrate the story

The federal government and the six North Eastern States have set aside about N792.7 billion in the proposed 2017 budget for the rebuilding of infrastructure destroyed by Boko Haram crisis in the region.

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who disclosed this on Wednesday said the provision was for the reconstruction of health and nutrition, education and security infrastructure destroyed during the crisis.

Mrs. Ahmed said although budgetary resources worth $2.77 billion (about N846.2 billion) were earmarked in the 2016 budget for the same purpose, the needs to end the crisis still remained high.

“The total amount required to fund the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan is $1.054 billion. Currently, less than 10 per cent of the plan has been funded, thus highlighting the need for rigorous fund-raising in order to meet targets,” the minister.

She said the Nigerian government would seek global support for its effort to end the humanitarian challenges in the region and the surrounding Lake Chad area.

The minister was speaking at the opening of a two-day international conference in Oslo, Norway organized jointly with by Norway, Nigeria and Germany, in collaboration with the United Nations.

Foreign ministers of countries in the affected regions, representatives of the African and European Unions, and their counterparts in donor countries, as well as heads of United Nations bodies are also attending the conference.

Mrs. Ahmed explained that in recent years, violent conflicts and human suffering have left a devastating mark on the north eastern part of Nigeria and parts of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.

Most of the affected areas have been left with degraded infrastructure and serious humanitarian challenges.

“The need for all of us to work together to assist the governments of the region salvage the situation cannot be over-emphasized. The Government of Nigeria and the rest of the International community need to pull resources to assuage the situation, to bring to an end this humanitarian crisis,” she stressed.

The festering humanitarian challenges, the Minister noted, had resulted from a lack-lustre approach to the developments in the region over a long period.

However, she said in the last quarter of 2016, the Nigerian government, together with partners, came up with the Humanitarian Needs Overview for Nigeria, which led to the development of the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan.

Subsequently, she said the Nigeria needed to mobilize domestic resources from budgetary allocations from various government to remedy the situation.

Given the debilitating nature of the crisis, the Minister said $1.054 billion would be required to fund the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan, indicating however that less than 10 per cent of the amount was currently being funded, signaling a need for concerted fund-raising to meet targets.

“What we need to succeed in 2017 is sustained engagement and support from all humanitarian actors, improved communication at all levels, access facilitation, human resources and sufficient funding to cover the cost of implementing the HRP,” she said

“The Joint Humanitarian Response Plan for Nigeria 2017 partners have resolved to work to alleviate the most life-threatening needs of 6.9 million people located in the three most affected states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.

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