Jonathan Nda- Isaiah
In a major and significant move by the Buhari administration to address the food crisis fallouts of the insurgency in the North-East, the Federal Government is now embarking on a multi-billion Naira provision and distribution of food grains especially for Internally Displaced Persons in the region.
In a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a comprehensive effort to deal with the situation, about 1.8m people would be reached regularly starting from tomorrow when the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, launches the quarterly Special Relief Intervention plan costing about N8B, depending on current commodity prices.
He said in all, about 40,000 metric tonnes comprising Rice, Maize, Sorghum and Soya beans grown locally by Nigerian farmers would be distributed. Under the distribution model, the Federal Government which is paying for the grains will be giving each family about 50kg of grains per month.
He pointed out that one of the highlights of this new distribution plan is that it eliminates the undignified practice of long and often problematic queues, replacing it with door-to-door delivery to the IDPs using a pre-issued voucher-system that promotes transparency and accountability. The new plan is also expected to correct many of the lapses observed in delivering relief to the IDPS.
Akande stated “The food will be distributed by officials of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, in partnership with State Emergency Management Agencies and developmental partners from the International Humanitarian agencies.
“Under the plan, the FG buys local grains from Nigerian farmers and the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Military including the Air Force, are actively involved providing essential and logistical support. The grains to be delivered quarterly would be transported mainly by road through 1032 trucks, while for locations difficult to reach, the Nigeria Air Force will provide air lift support.
“While the Federal Government is providing food assistance, it will work with the State Governments to provide other forms of assistance including health services, education, resettlement and livelihood support.”
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