N10bn spent on food in IDPs within 2 years- FG

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The Federal Government in the last two years has spent over N10 billion on the feeding of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the North-East through the Presidential Committee on Northeast Initiatives (PCNI).

Alhaji Tijani Tumsah, who is the vice chairman of PCNI,  disclosed this to journalists in Abuja.

Alhaji Tijani said with about 1.7 million IDPs currently in the northeast, a 25 kilogram of food basket of seven items for N54, 000 was being spent on a family monthly.

“Food is a major consumer of our funds. In the last two-and-a-half years, the PCNI has spent over N10 billion on foods for the IDPs. Before the inception of the PCNI, there had been various interventions by various organizations, but when we came on board, we had to coordinate and fill in gaps wherever they exist. We now have about 1.7 million IDPs; before now, it was over two million,” he said.

“Before the insurgency, the region was behind in all development indices, but it was compounded by the insurgency due to the large scale destruction of infrastructures as well as the socio-economic life of the people. He added.

“It was in view of this that the PCNI conceived the idea of Education Support Programme whereby primary and secondary schools are targeted for assistance.

“Not all schools and students would be covered by the programme, but only those with critical needs; and so far, we have identified 67,000 students in the state and local government areas across the region.

“The identification and selection was carried out in collaboration with Ministries of Education and individual school managements in the States and Local governments in the region”.

He said about N800 million had been committed to the three states where the programme was launched few days ago, adding that the other states in the region would follow suit in few days’ time.

According to him, the programme was aimed at reducing the huge deficit recorded in the education sector by ensuring a conducive learning environment through provision of learning materials for the students and their teachers as well as equipment that would help the schools meet their obligations to the children.

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