45bn Naira Too Small For Northeast Reconstruction – Sani Zorro

45bn Naira Too Small For Northeast Reconstruction – Sani ZorroChairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Internally Displaced Persons and Refugees, Mr Sani Zorro says the 45 billion naira earmarked for the reconstruction of the northeast Nigeria is too little.

Zorro said the infrastructure destroyed by years of Boko Haram insurgency far exceeds the amount the federal government is willing to part with.

“We take specific note of the cost of infrastructure destroyed which he (Governor Kashim Shettima) told officials of the National Assembly (and) which he put at 9.6 billion dollars saying that Borno state has suffered the destruction of infrastructure close to seven billion dollars.

“Now the federal government has earmarked only 45 billion naira in this year’s budget for the reconstruction of the northeast? I just hope that this 45 billion is just counterpart funding. I just hope it is a component; maybe there is a bigger funding coming from elsewhere,” he said.

Zorro and his colleague – the Chairman House Committee on Air Force, Muazu Lawan, were in Borno state to convey the feelings of the House of Representatives over recent attacks in the state.

“Our mission is on behalf of the House of Representatives and its leadership and apart from commiserating with the government we have also visited the state specialist hospital where we saw those who have suffered various degrees of injury and we are happy to report that all those who were admitted in danger list are now recovering very fast.

“We were able to talk to each one of them and offered our sympathy. We have also been to the office of UN OCHA where we met a lot of humanitarian partners and we have interfaced with them. ”

However, the Chairman of the House Committee on Air Force, Muazu Lawan, believes the specialist hospital Maiduguri needs to be expanded to meet the growing needs of citizens.

“We went to the specialist hospital and we saw the injured, they are responding to treatment and we saw government’s effort.

“The only thing the government has to put in place is expansion of the hospital. There are a lot of room for expanding the healthcare institution, not only because of this incident but for the future, anything can happen.

“We are not hoping for things of this nature to be reoccurring, we hope it will be the last.”

Treatment Of Terror Victims Now Free, Thanks To PCNI

Treatment Of Terror Victims Now Free, Thanks To PCNIThe Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI) has taken responsibility for all bills incurred by those injured by insurgency.

In furtherance to that, Vice Chairman of the initiative, Tijjani Tumsa, has pledged on behalf of the PCNI to support the Maiduguri specialist hospital with the sum of 20 million naira.

This, according to him, is to ensure that “none of the victims has to pay for any treatment given to him whether in medication or operational requirement”.

The committee was in the state to commiserate with the University of Maiduguri and members of the Rann community who were injured during an Air Force operation that went wrong recently.

The PCNI Vice Chairman said: “We are pledging from the PCNI, on behalf of the chairman, General TY Danjuma, the complete payment of their medical needs and we would start that with the provision of 20 million Naira to the specialist hospital to ensure that none of the victims has to pay for any treatment given to him whether in medication or operational requirement.

“In addition to that, we have also pledged the sum of ten thousand naira for each patient for their personal consumables and a total sum of a million naira for the caregivers to be more encouraged to facilitate care giving to these patients.”

Tumsa thanked members of the International Red Cross and other caregivers for having a lot of input in the survival of the victims.

“We are consistent on our belief that the victims of terrorism should not suffer any other burden apart from what they have already suffered.

“The PCNI will ensure that it doesn’t happen and any medical needs or requirements that are a result of injuries suffered from this insurgency will continue to be treated free of charge,” Tumsa stated.

Porous Security

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Maiduguri, Professor Ibrahim Njobdi, conveyed the institution’s gratitude to the PCNI for offsetting the hospital bills of survivors of an on-campus explosion which killed a professor and two students.

The Vice Chancellor urged the PCNI to consider providing a solution to the porous nature of the university which paved way for a seven-year-old to beat security posts and penetrate campus.

Professor Njodi said that the Senate of the institution decided unanimously to keep the school open to encourage operatives fighting the terrorism war.

“The only way to encourage the military and other activities going on is for us to remain here so that they have a reason to fight and struggle against the terror. That was why we resolved as a university when the heat was too much way back in 2014; the Senate came here and we collectively took our decision that we would not close the university, we would not run away from terror and that is how it has been,” the VC said.

100 Years Behind

Professor Njodi also spoke on the need to address the challenges facing the education sector in norther Nigeria.

“Education in the north is endangered; I have said it at different fora that prior to Boko Haram there were some studies – some speculative some real, that were conducted that the north was 100 years behind the south educationally.

“That was before Boko Haram. What this means is that at that time if the South stopped going to school, it would take the north 100 years to catch up.

“When you now come to the north and break it up into North-West, Central, and East, Northeast was 150 years behind the South.

“So if those reports are anything to go by, I don’t know what the picture will be now, probably it may be 500 to 1000 years. And this is how bad our situation is educationally.”

London Telegraph Is Strengthening Boko Haram Terrorism – Presidency

garba Shehu, London Telegraph, Boko Haram, The Presidency has lashed out at UK tabloid, London Telegraph, over an article it published on July 30 which suggested that the Nigerian government is diverting funds meant to combat terrorism to persecute President Muhammadu Buhari’s political foes.

Presidential Spokesperson, Mr Garba Shehu said in a statement on Monday that the claims were incorrect and unhelpful to Nigeria’s war on terrorism, rather it further strengthens the insurgents’ quest to divide Nigeria.

The London Telegraph’s article “Children Face Death by Starvation in Northern Nigeria” (30th July, 2016) repeats a claim from an earlier piece “Nigeria Using UK Aid to Persecute President’s Political Foes” (12th April, 2016) – that Nigeria is diverting UK aid monies away from defeating the Islamist terror group Boko Haram towards those the newspaper identified as political opponents of the Buhari administration.

“This is as incorrect as it is unhelpful,” Mr Shehu said.

“These claims in both articles are attributed to an unnamed ‘source’ in the United States, and ‘Western officials’. Yet when the first article was published it drew the condemnation of the US Embassy in Abuja as having drawn conclusions directly opposite to the position of the US government.

“To state the facts: the UK government does not give development aid to the Nigerian administration for use in military operations against Boko Haram. Where British military support – such as intelligence – is provided, it is precisely and only, given for operations directly against Boko Haram.

“Similarly, the Nigerian Government is in no position to divert aid monies used for emergency relief for refugees or IDP camps for any other purpose, as these are dispensed directly by DFID, USAID, the United Nations, the International Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and many other organizations – with which we enjoy excellent relations.

“The humanitarian situation in these camps is real. The Administration remains deeply concerned about the medical, health and nutrition challenges and we are doing everything with the limited resources we have at our disposal to improve the situation.

“However, the blame for the plight of refugees lies with Boko Haram. They are its cause, not the Nigerian Government.

“In the light of ongoing efforts, we regret the recent attack on the UN humanitarian convoy in the Northeastern region and are encouraged by the world body’s determination to continue rendering assistance to the displaced victims.

“That the attack was repelled by Nigerian troops escorting the convoy shows precisely how the Government and humanitarian agencies are working together.

“As for claims that the administration is targeting Christians and the opposition, these are without foundation.

“Since assuming office, President Buhari has treated all Nigerians without bias for ethnicity or religion – as the composition of his cabinet and the policies and programmes of his administration demonstrate.

“To suggest his government as deepening Muslim-Christian division is not only untrue, but plays into the hands of Boko Haram who wish to divide Nigerians along religious lines.

“Fighting this group is key priority of President Buhari’s administration. Indeed, the international community has widely acknowledged his determination to defeat terrorism in Nigeria and the entire Lake Chad Basin.

“There is nothing to gain by attempting to mould public opinion against these facts. Therefore, we invite The Telegraph to visit Nigeria to witness first hand, not only the challenges we face, but the administration’s determination to confront them.”

Landmines Kill 15 In Borno

landminesFifteen persons have been killed by landmines left by suspected terrorists in Nussa village of Askira Uba in northeast Nigeria’s Borno State.

It is not clear if they were civilians or military personnel.

Another three identified as Civilian Joint Task Force members were also killed in neighbouring Chul village in the same local government.

Sources say both incidents happened on Monday night.

Emerging reports also indicate that Boko Haram terrorists over the weekend set ablaze two trucks conveying relief items to returning internally displaced persons in Gamboru Ngala.

The trucks belonging to the International Red Cross were abandoned around Logumane Musini axis, barely 15 kilometers to Gamboru after offloading their contents following a breakdown.

Desperate insurgents hoping to loot items abandoned reportedly set the empty trucks on fire and retreated to their hideouts, sources say.