Boko Haram: $9bn lost to insurgency in Northeast – Panel

The Presidential Committee on North-East Initiative has said that about $9bn has been lost to the destructive activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states.

The committee also said that a strategic framework would be inaugurated soon by President Muhammadu Buhari in line with his determination to rebuild the North-East.

The Vice-Chairman of the PCNI, Alhaji Tijani Tumsah, said this on Thursday in Abuja, while briefing journalists on the outcome of its inaugural meeting.

According to him, the focus of the meeting was to discuss the mandate given to the PCNI to fashion out a way that would be most direct in terms of the delivery of that mandate, analyse the enormity of the task and fulfil the presidential mandate to give succour to the people of the North-East.

He however said the committee was not given the mandate to investigate and prosecute the people who allegedly participated in the diversion of relief items meant for the victims of insurgency in the Internally Displaced Persons’ camps.

Tumsah said, “We are not investigating anybody; there are people who are investigating such diversions. I’m glad you mentioned the Senate, the House of Representatives, police and the EFCC. Our mandate, going forward, is to provide a strategic framework for the implementation of all interventions going into the North-East in terms of humanitarian works, resettlement and eventual rebuilding of the North-East.

“In terms of cost, there is an immediate, short-term and long-term view. The entire rebuilding of the North-East, of course, will keep changing. But we do know that a substantial amount of resources estimated at $9bn have been lost to insurgency

“We are going to channel this strategic framework through a document that we have developed, that is going to be launched very soon. It is the plan of President Muhammadu Buhari to rebuild the North-East. That is the strategic implementation going forward.”

Speaking on the money meant for the rebuilding of the North-East, Tumsah said it was donated for a particular purpose – rehabilitation of the victims of terrorism.

Another member of the committee representing the Senate, Ali Ndume, said members of the committee were representatives of the North-East caucus, because of the peculiarities and the objectives for which the PCNI was set up.

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