The federal government will in 2018 be spending N45 billion under its special intervention for the war-wrecked northeast.
This was disclosed on Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari while presenting a N8.612 trillion 2018 Appropriation Bill to a joint session of the National Assembly in Abuja.
The proposed spending is expected to “consolidate” the gains being made in the current 2017 budget, the president said.
In his first mention of the northeast in his speech, the president announced the spending proposal, and later said N9.8 billion had been proposed for the Mambilla hydro power project, which he said includes N8.5 billion as counterpart funding. Mambilla is located in Taraba, a state within Northeast Nigeria.
Mr. Buhari said his administration’s absolute commitment to securing life and property in other parts of the country would be replicated in the war-wrecked northeast.
He said soldiers prosecuting the war against Boko Haram in the states of northeast would be supported and equipped to enable them achieve victory over the country’s enemies.
“We will ensure that our gallant men and women in arms are properly equipped and well-motivated,” he said.
He said it was due to the commitment of his government towards ending Boko Haram insurgency that resulted “in the gradual return to normalcy in the North East”.
“It is in this spirit that I recently assented to the North-East Development Commission Bill that was passed by this Distinguished House.
“We expect that this development will consolidate on our ongoing efforts to combat insurgency, reintegrate Internally Displaced Persons and rebuild communities in the North East Region, which have been adversely affected by the insurgency,” he said.
Unlike the N71.20 billion earmarked for the Niger Delta Development Commission, President Buhari did not clearly mention if the proposed N45 billion for Northeast Intervention Fund was meant to fund the new North-East Development Commission (NEDC).