PCNI Asks States To Help Rebuild North-East

The Presidential Committee on the North-east Initiative (PCNI) is challenging state governments and people of the region to play active roles in the rebuilding of the area.

The Vice Chairman of the Committee, Tijjani Tumsah, gave the charge in Bauchi during a visit on the State Governor, Mohammed Abubakar.

He said even though the committee seeks assistance from foreign donors, the people must have a common goal in the rebuilding process of the zone.

“The purpose of the visit to Bauchi state today was to interact with the government and the people, to understand their priorities in terms of reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of IDPs that are in the north-east region as whole. That is why we came here to Bauchi to also acquaint them with the intention of the President Mohammadu Buhari and also the chairman of the committee to synergise for development in the north-east.”

Ndume Calls For Increase In Northeast Allocations

Ali Ndume, Northeast, Budget AllocationFormer Senate Majority Leader, Ali Ndume, says more needs to be done to improve the humanitarian situation in Nigeria’s Northeast.

Speaking to journalists at the National Assembly in Abuja, Senator Ndume called for increase in the budget allocated to the region.

“In the budget proposal under consideration by the National Assembly (that is this year), only 45 billion Naira is allocated for the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative (PCNI).

“This is grossly inadequate to address the emergency humanitarian crisis we are faced with.

“We have made a case to the National Assembly; the PCNI has written to the Speaker, there’s a favourable response.

“I have personally raised the issue with the Senate President and there is a favourable response to increase the budgetary allocation for the humanitarian crisis in the northeast from 45 billion Nara to a reasonable amount,” he said.

The lawmaker said over 2.5 million children are malnourished in the region, not to mention other alarming situations while highlighting the need for decisive intervention in the region.

He also urged the Federal and State governments to work together to ensure efficiency in managing the crisis in the northeast.

PCNI Reiterates Mandate On Rebuilding Northeast

PCNI Re-iterates Mandate On Rebuilding NortheastAs part of rebuilding Nigeria’s north east shattered by the Boko Haram militants, the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiative (PCNI), recently visited Yobe state to handover some repaired structures.

Led by its Deputy Chairman, Tijjani Tumsa, the committee also presented some food and non-food items to be distributed to the Displaced Persons in the state, with the aim of making their lives more comfortable.

While visiting some police stations in Damaturu, the state capital, it was observed that so many destroyed structures are yet to be repaired and a failure to do so would stall the enforcement of law and order.

This situation has prompted most Police officers to erect temporary tents which gave rise to illegal and dilapidated camps within the police formations.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Sumonu Abdulmaliki, however stated that the issues have to be attended to gradually as the demands are enormous.

He also expressed his appreciation over the efforts of the PCNI for coming to the aid of the police, saying the efforts would go a long way in alleviating the sufferings of the Police.

Tumsa, on the other hand, stated that the committee has only just started, assuring them that the committee is poised to actualizing its mandate of reconstructing and rebuilding the northeast better than it was.

He therefore appealed to the residents and government of the northeast states to partner with them in the rebuilding process, saying that the presidency is committed to improving the lives of the people in the affected areas.

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.”

Over 10 Nations Support Nigeria’s Northeast Rehabilitation Project

IDPs-Camp-Bomb in northeast NigeriaNigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has welcomed the offer of support from Ambassadors from several nations who are based in the country in the rehabilitation of the nation’s devastated northeast.

In a meeting on Monday with several Ambassadors, heads of mission and diplomats from the United States, Japan, Turkey, Canada, Australia and eight European nations, the Vice President thanked the envoys and their countries for their attention to matters of the north-east.

He also commended them and the so many international bodies and agencies who have acted and expressed their wishes to offer assistance.

‘The Critical Issue’

The Vice President said the issue of the rehabilitation of the northeast was a “matter close to the president’s heart”.

A statement by the Vice President spokesman, Laolu Akande, said Professor Osinbajo also pointed out that he was also very active in the overall coordination of the efforts.

According to him, the coordination of the rehabilitation plans is now the critical issue, expressing the expectation that the envoys would work with the Presidential Committee on the North-East (PCNI) headed by General T.Y. Danjuma.

He explained that the PCNI was now the new structure President Muhammadu Buhari had put in place to coordinate the efforts, clarifying that the PCNI now encompasses the Presidential Initiative on the North East, which was the former body in place.

According to the statement, the PCNI now also includes the Victims Support Fund, VSF, headed by Danjuma and Safe Schools Initiative formerly in the federal Finance Ministry.

“Like-Minded Ambassadors”

Professor Osinbajo added that his office would actively and directly be involved in overseeing the new structure in addition to his office’s responsibility to supervise the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, another active agency in the process.

The group of ambassadors called “Like-Minded Ambassadors on support for the North-East” was led to the meeting with the Vice President by the United States Ambassador, Mr James Entwistle, who expressed the interest of the international community to partner with the Federal Government in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the North East zone of the country destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgency.

“The group was at the State House to meet with the Vice President, to compare notes and make sure that we understand each other on the scope and size of humanitarian challenges and how we can coordinate when the time comes for the internally displaced to go home,” the United States Ambassador to Nigeria told reporters.

He also said the group had come to discuss the upcoming workshops and seminars and for the diplomats representing different countries to know areas where they could help, as some of them were already helping.

The Ambassador/Head of the European Union Delegation in Nigeria, Mr Michel Arrion, also said that the EU had set aside a trust fund he described as a basket fund, from which funds would be drawn to offer assistance, especially in addressing the root causes of crisis in the Sahel region.

The EU nations represented at the meeting include Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands and Norway.