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BORNO: We spent N1bn on food, relief materials for IDPs – NEDC

The North-East Development Commission (NEDC) has said the provision of food and non-food for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in various camps in Borno State has cost over N1 billion in the last one year.

The Managing Director, NEDC, Alhaji Goni Alkali, made the disclosure on Monday at the official launching of Rapid Response Intervention (RRI) across the six states of Taraba, Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi and Borno, held at the Government House, Maiduguri.

As part of President Buhari’s approval of constructing 10,000 housing units to accommodate IDP returnees, the commission had kicked off on the building of the first batch of 1,000 houses at Ngowom in Mafa Local Government Area of the state, which would soon be completed and handed over to the state, Alkali said.

The NEDC MD further said that the commission resolved to implement an average of two projects in each of the 112 local government areas of the region, with a budget envelope of N50 million per local government even as he said that the budget for the initiative was pegged at N6 billion for the implementation of all approved projects.

“In order to ensure that the projects were demand-driven, the commission requested state governments to nominate sectors, including education, health, social infrastructure and agriculture in response the states’ request for a total of 1,310 projects estimated to cost about N5.8 billion, but when teams were sent to carry out preliminary assessments of projects and sites, the total number was rationalised to 647 across all the states in the region,” Alkali added.

Alkali went on to say that the implementation of the RRI projects in Borno was almost completed with Tuesday’s handing-over to the state government of about 40,000 two-seater classrooms’ furniture for distribution to schools in the 27 council areas.

While concluding, Alkali stated that apart from the RRI, 166 youths were trained and were now graduates of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Computer Graphics and cell phone repairs, who were to be kitted with free starter packs and the sum of N20,000 each to enable them start up.

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