IDPs: depending on food aid no longer sustainable – Zulum

Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum has stated that feeding over one million internally displaced persons without having access to the means of livelihood is no longer sustainable.

The Governor stated this on Thursday when he received House of Representatives committee on North East Development Commission (NEDC) in Maiduguri.

Zulum while commending President Buhari and the National Assembly for establishing NEDC expressed concern over worsening food insecurity in the North East.

“Let me use this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari and indeed the National Assembly for establishing the North East Development Commission (NEDC). NEDC has indeed brought succor to the people of Borno State.

“However, looking at the huge number of the internally displaced persons in IDPs camps and host communities. It is no longer sustainable for IDPs to depend on handout coming from neither NGOs nor from NEDC or NEMA. The only solution is to ensure reconstruction of communities, rehabilitation and resettlement of the IDPs back to their ancestral homes in a dignified manner.”

“If it is not possible to go back to their communities, there is a need for the federal government to provide accommodation to the so that they can settle in a place where it is safe to engage in their means of livelihood.”

“Last time even in Monguno alone we spent over a billion naira in a day providing a food, items to the IDPs, yet, we were unable to cover 50% of the total population of IDPs in Monguno.”

“You can exhaust the entire budget of the NEDC by providing a food, items to the IDPs in a month, we need your support.”

“You can visit any of the IDPs camp, the only slogan you hear is ‘we want to go back home, ‘ if nothing is done I am afraid we will face another serious challenge. Right now the insurgents are recruiting many of our children into the sect.” Zulum said.

Zulum also called on the management of the North East Development Commission to work with various state governments to fix the infrastructural deficit in the region.

“We need to work with the NEDC and this committee to look into the critical infrastructural deficit in the state, especially roads, which is very critical in ensuring agricultural productivity.” The Governor said.

Meanwhile, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum has solicited for the support of the National Assembly, particularly, in an area of the budget allocation to the NEDC.

“We are soliciting for support from this very important committee as well as the entire National Assembly to look in addressing the issues of security, job creation, and infrastructure decay in Borno.”

“In 2021 budget we urge you to increase the budgetary allocation to the North East Development Commission and NEMA, which will in turn help in the restoration of peace.” Zulum said.

Zulum also called on the National Assembly members to visit IDPs in other LGAs to see their conditions.

“I think your visit to the IDPs camp yesterday and today has shown you a lot. concerning the existing deficit we faced. These are some the best IDPs camp you have visited, you need to go and see Monguno, Gamboru, Damboa, Gowza and others.”

“Look at those children that have no access to any form of education, look at the rooms they live in, look at the toilet facilities they use. The unhygienic condition.”

“I am happy that you are here and visited the IDPs camps, but you need to visit some LGAs so that you can see things for yourselves, we can take you round.” Zulum said.

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