Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Presidential Initiative for North East (PINE) as part of its strategic intervention has commenced monitoring/media assessment of contracts awarded for the rehabilitation and building of schools and Police formations destroyed by insurgents in the region.
The intervention is aimed at supporting the affected areas destroyed by insurgency towards fast-tracking socio-economic development under its short term measures.
The Initiative, put in place by the Federal Government to alleviate the sufferings of people affected by insurgency is one of the major intervention programmes which were launched in Maiduguri two years ago by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The Monitoring and Assessment Team led by the Communication Officer of PINE, Mr. Seyi Odutayo has already visited Yobe and Bauchi states where the projects were located and expressed happiness with the level of work.
Odutayo who spoke with THISDAY in an interview shortly after his team inspected the ongoing project at the Government Girls’ Secondary School(GGSS), Tafawa Balewa in Bauchi state said about 17 projects have been inspected in Yobe state and one in Bauchi, while 31 were being executed in Adamawa state.
According to him, “Assessment in Yobe revealed that about 17 projects were awarded, 10 Police stations rehabilitated in Damaturu, Potiskum and one in Yakasuri”.
He added that “the first phase of this Monitoring/Media Assessment of PINE projects in the Northeast is taking place at Yobe, Adamawa and Bauchi and this intervention is aimed at supporting the region in a short term for the economic development.”
Odutayo appealed to other national and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and philanthropists to assist the initiative to re-develop the region that was devastated by the Boko Haram insurgents.
At the GGSS, Tafawa Balewa in Bauchi state, the team commended the contractor for a quality job. A total of 36 classrooms, administrative block and toilets are being built in the school, with over 90 per cent level of completion.
Some of the teachers and students interviewed on the rehabilitation process expressed gratitude to the federal government for embarking on the projects in the North-east, but however appealed “to President Muhammadu Buhari to also help us rehabilitate our hostel which is in a very deplorable condition at the moment.”
PINE is the presidential intervention designed to provide emergency assistance and mobilise targeted resources to jumpstart the economy of the North-east states of Nigeria, while strategically positioning the region for long-term prosperity.
Also in continuation of its Accelerated Relief Programme (ARP) which aims at bringing succour to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) affected by the Boko Haram crises, PINE donated relief materials including food and non-food items to IDPs who fled to villages in Kirfi and Alkaleri local government areas of Bauchi state.
Presenting the items to the beneficiaries on behalf of PINE, the Special Adviser to the state Governor on Security Matters, Brig-General Ladan Yusuf (rtd) stated that the state government has set up a committee under his chairmanship that comprises traditional, community leaders and security agencies to ensure fair distribution of the relief materials to them.
According to him, items distributed include; rice, millet, guinea corn, maize, noodles, sugar, salt, groundnut oil, palm oil and others such as mattresses, mats, blankets, mosquito nets, wrappers, children kits and household utensils among others.
Responding on behalf of the displaced persons, the acting chairman of Kirfi local government represented by the director general services of the council, Alhaji Sani Adamu applauded PINE for the gesture saying it would alleviate the hardship of the victims.