FG Earmarks N55bn for NEDC’s Take-off

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Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The federal government has earmarked N55 billion for the take off of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) established through an Act of 2017.

NEDC’s Managing Director, Mohammed Alkali, in his first official assignment after his confirmation by the Senate yesterday, presented a total budget of N55 billion to the National Assembly Joint Committee on Special Duties for approval.

Alkali gave a breakdown of the sum to include N10 billion for take-off while N45 billion is earmarked for humanitarian interventions. “In the 2019 federal government budget, the commission was allocated a sum of N55.00 billion – N10 billion for take-off and N45 billion for humanitarian and developmental interventions in the region.”

“ln the budget, these figures were allocated as line items and below we express how the commission plans to utilise the amounts towards achieving the desired outcomes”.

According to him, recruitment of the initial core staff as well as appointment of critical consultants/professionals to assist in the take-off of the commission is included in the budget estimate.

The commission, he said, will develop Special Programmes on access to education and capacity building to cater for children to ensure continuity of schooling in the camps or in other locations, accelerated learning for those whose education had been truncated, organised vocational and skill acquisition training for youths and women and will also give specialized training for all vulnerable groups.

According to him, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (UN-OCHA) estimated that in 2019, 7.1 million people would be in need of humanitarian assistance in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States out of the total population of about 13.4 million people.

“This needs assessment cut across all the focal areas; food security, nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), shelter, early recovery and livelihood, education, protection, gender-based violence, child protection, logistics, Displacement Management Systems, coordination and emergency telecommunications amongst others.