Monday, October 9, 2017 9:45 pm
Gov. Ibrahim Gaidam of Yobe has requested for the refund of at least 30 per cent of the N13 billion the State Government expended on fighting Boko Haram insurgency in the state.
Gaidam made the request when he fielded questions from State House correspondents after a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday.
He said already the state government had submitted to the federal government its demand for the refund.
He said the amount, if refunded, would enable the state government carry out some developmental projects including the construction of new hospitals as well as provision of other infrastructural facilities.
“We have not received a kobo in terms of cash. But in terms of materials, food and non-food items, we have been receiving a lot which I cannot tell you precisely in a quantified form.
“But, doing the last administration in Yobe, we took care of the Joint Task Force, a combination of the military, the SSS, the Mobile Police, who were carrying out the war against insurgency.
“We even paid their allowances, all their logistical needs including patrol vehicles.
“We spent huge amount of money in that direction up to about N13 billion during the time of the insurgency.
“We have submitted to the federal government if they could refund even 30 per cent of that amount so that we can use the money on some developmental projects like construction of hospitals.”
On his meeting with the President, Gaidam said that he briefed him on the return of all Yobe Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) back to their respective domains following the relative peace achieved in the state.
According to him, the state has not encountered any attack by the insurgents in the past two years.
He said: “I told him that we have gotten relative peace in Yobe state in terms of insurgency. For the past two years or so we have not encountered any attack by the insurgents in Yobe state.
“I accordingly briefed him that all our IDPs have returned to their basis and resumed their normal businesses.
“Our problems now border on resettlement, rehabilitation and reconstruction of the destroyed areas by the Boko Haram and I told him that as government we have been doing our best to ensure we restore all those facilities which were destroyed by the Boko Haram.
“But we need some kind of assistance from the federal government which he promised to assist.’’
The governor acknowledged that the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative had offered some assistance to the IDPs in the state.
He, however, called on the committee to do more, adding that “some of our people lost their means of livelihood and they need to be given some amount of money either by the federal government or through the presidential committee to assist them to rebuild their houses so that they could start their normal life’’.
Gov. Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa, who also spoke to the correspondents after a closed door meeting with Buhari in the Presidential Villa, dismissed the social media report that the Jigawa House of Assembly was plotting to impeach him.
According to him, the relationship between the executive and legislature in the state has remained cordial.
On his meeting with the President, the governor, who is the Chairman of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, said he updated him on issues bordering on agricultural development in the country.
“We believe agriculture and solid minerals are key (to our development), and we discussed a lot on how to improve our international competitiveness in agricultural production.
“As you are aware also that I’m the chairman of the Presidential Fertiliser Initiative, we have been discussing on fertiliser on agriculture for quite a long time with Mr President and I’m sure he is happy with the suggestions and encouraged us to work hard and to be sure we safeguard the country.’’
The governor disclosed that the government was looking into possibility of reducing the cost of inputs as well as to increase farmers’ yields so as to make them competitive.