In a significant move by the Muhammadu Buhari administration to check the food crisis in the insurgency plaguing North-East Nigeria, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo will lead the Federal Government’s effort to distribute about 40,000 metric tonnes of food grains especially for an estimated 1.8m Internally Displaced Persons in the region from Thursday, June 7, 2017.
This, according to a statement by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant on Media & Publicity to the President, the quarterly Special Relief Intervention plan is estimated to cost about N8bn, depending on current prices of commodity prices.
The Federal Government plans to eliminate the undignified practice of long and often problematic queues, adopting door-to-door delivery method of the grains comprising Rice, Maize, Sorghum and Soya beans to the IDPs using a pre-issued voucher-system that promotes transparency and accountability.
Besides helping to tackle the problem of famine, the Federal Government is also patronizing Nigerian farmers, as the grains are locally produced and purchased by the administration for distribution with each family receiving about 50kg of grains per month.
The new plan, the statement continued, is also expected to correct many of the lapses observed in delivering relief to the IDPS, as 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,” the statement added.