By Mustapha Buhari, Maiduguri
The chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, Refugees and Presidential Commitee on North-East, PCNE, Sani Zorro, has said that the N45 billion appropriated by the Federal Government in the 2017 budget for the re-construction of North-East is insufficient.
Mr Zorro spoke to journalists in Maiduguri on Friday shortly after sympathizing with victims of the recent accidental airstrike in Rann town, Borno State.
According to him, people of the region were plunged into massive economic loss occassioned by the activities of the insurgents.
He said reasonable amount of money should have been earmarked for the reconstruction of restructures and revival of their economic activites.
He noted that the amount budgeted should rather be seen as a counterpart fund to be used with funds realized from international donor agencies for the revival of the zone.
“The General Theophilus Danjuma-led Presidential Commitee on North-East, PCNE, had earlier declared that it was expecting to realize over three trillion naira from donations to be doled out by individuals and corporate organisations for the re-building of the zone.
“So going by this figure, Federal Government ought to have appropriated sufficient funds to meet the needs of the project.
“I hope the governnent will later revisit this issue as quickly as possible,” he urged.
The lawmaker further restated the determination of the lower chamber to map out effective mechanism to cushion the negative effects of the insurgency faced in the region.
“We in the House of Representatives will do everything possible to ensure that we appropariate whatever amount the region required for its general re-construction so that innocent civilans who became refugees in their country will return to their respectives areas to start a new life,” he assured.
Commenting on the plights of the IDPs, the lawmaker said the legislators would support the Federal Government to tackle such issue through legislation.
According to him, the plight of IDPs can be addressed only through viable legislation.
“The house is helping with respect to the plight of IDPs by way of lawmaking because we are lawmakers. Already, I have sponsored a bill that will amend the act establishing the National Commission for Refugees, NCR,” he added.