VSF realises N54bn to support victims of Boko Haram insurgency

an IDPs camp in North East Nigeria

Dr Sunday Ocheche, Executive Director, Victims Support Fund (VSF), says only about N30 billion of the N54 billion pledged to help Boko Haram insurgency victims has been redeemed.

Ochoche disclosed this at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum on Sunday in Abuja.

According to him, less than N30 billion of the amount has been redeemed since the commencement of operations by VSF.

He said that a committee was inaugurated by the Federal Government to help in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of victims of insurgency.

“As soon as the General Danjuma committee was inaugurated by the president, the first thing they did was to hold the fund raiser to generate fund; Yes the Federal Government made a pledge and the Federal Government has redeemed 100 per cent of its pledge.

“There was no fund from the international community, the rest of the funds have come from the private sector, from individuals and from the business sector.

“The single largest individual contribution came from the chairman itself General Danjuma, who pledged $10 million and redeemed his $10 million immediately. Other Nigerians pledged, many have redeemed but many more also have not.

“A total of N54 billion was pledged at the fund raiser, we have redeemed less than N30 billion’’.

He said that many Nigerians are beginning to see the transparency at which VSF was going, adding that many are coming forward to make their little donation to the victims support fund.

The executive director explained that with the enormity of the situation in the North-East, no single agency could significantly make a difference in the reconstruction, rehabilitation and rebuilding of the affected states.

“You need to understand the enormity of the situation to appreciate whether any agency by itself can significantly make a difference to the situation.

“It is in the appreciation of the enormity of the situation that the Federal Government recognises that even with its might as the Federal Government, by itself will not be able to do much.

According to him, the Federal Government has to invite the private sector to also support its effort to support the victims of Boko Haram insurgency.

He said that over two million people were believed to have been displaced as a result of the insurgency in the country.

“We have been hearing numbers of deaths at about 20,000 but those are figures that have been paraded for over a year plus now; I want to believe that the actual figure of deaths will be well above that.

“We have a situation where if you travel in the North–East, you travel from Maiduguri to Bama, from Konduga all the way to Bama not a single hut is standing.

“If you are travelling a little bit further from the northern axis to Dikwa and Gamboru Ngala all the way from Mafa to Dikwa to Gamboru Ngala nothing is standing.

“If you go further north the Abadan and other areas have remain occupied until recently by Boko Haram.

“If you go to Yobe and you go to Gujba Local Government the whole of Buniyadi nothing was standing, you go to  Gulani much of Bara nothing was standing’’.

He said that similar issue of destruction applied to some Local Governments in Adamawa state as a result of the activities of the Boko Haram insurgency.

Ochoche said that VSF was set up to evaluate the need assessment of a deficient locality such as the case of people affected by the insurgency and thus act on their plight.

“We have identified and defined our area of need and area of comparative advantage.

“By our need assessment, we realised there are significant gaps; we are not directly involved into humanitarian intervention, we do not provide food,’’ he said. (NAN)