The Senate on Tuesday approved N10 billion for the relocation and resettlement of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
The approval of the fund came on the heels of a motion titled, “Interim financial and material support/assistance to IDPs returnees in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States” and sponsored by Senate Leader, Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) and eight others.
In moving the motion, Ndume said most of the local government areas and towns that were hitherto occupied by the insurgents have been recaptured and secured by the Nigerian security forces.
He, however, lamented that the IDPs from these states ran away from their various homes leaving everything they owned behind with the hope of returning within the shortest possible time but ended up losing everything to the Boko Haram insurgents.
The Senate leader also noted that for the IDPs to return home, they need immediate and interim financial and material assistance in term of cash transfer and food relief to start their lives afresh before the intervention from the proposed North East Development Commission (NEDC).
In contributing to the motion, Senator Abdullahi Adamu (APC, Nasarawa West) said the provision of the N10bn would address the immediate primary concerns of the IDPs, stressing that poverty played key role in the escalation of the crisis.
“We are going into this year’s farming season, 90 percent of the IDPs are farmers and if they miss the essential time of this season, it will be very difficult for them to meet up even next year”, he said.
In passing resolutions on the motion, the Senate directed its committee on Appropriation to allocate N10bn under the service wide vote for the IDPs.
Senate also called on the Federal Government to release grains from the strategic grain reserve to the affected states.
The senators also passed resolution urging the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and refugees commission to make special arrangement for the repatriation and resettlement of Nigerian refugees in Cameroon, Niger and Chad Republic.
In his remarks, Senate President Bukola Saraki said the success of the security agencies in the Northeast made it possible for the IDPs to return back to their respective villages.
“We must commend the efforts of security forces, because without them we will not be talking about the relocation of the IDPs”, he said.