By Lizzy Okoji and Taiye Edeni
Alhaji Tijjani Tumsah, Vice Chairman, Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative (PCNI), says it may take a minimum of ten years before appreciable progress can be made in rebuilding the North-East following Boko Haram attacks.
Tumsah made this known at a Forum with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja.
He said that the Boko Haram crisis in the North-East was horrific and led to the loss of thousands of lives and destruction of property worth over 9 billion dollars.
According to Tumsah, the challenges in the North-East are multi-sectoral and rebuilding a better and safer North-East requires a specialised approach, which could take not less than ten years.
“The issues in the North East are long term, in my opinion it would take a minimum of ten years before appreciable progress is made and people are able to return to normalcy.
“The three year time frame given to the committee is in the first instance.
“We have engaged with the private sector on a variety of issues including fund raising, the private sector has indicated a lot of interest to provide quite a bit of resources for the engagement.
“The physical nature of the intervention will begin to become more obvious before the year runs out.
“For now we are set, we have the framework for intervention and strategy, we have all the partners on the same page and now there will be less acrimony and it would become obvious to the whole Nigerians.
“This plan which is the strategic framework for implementation for the recovery of the North-East is the Buhari Plan.
“The document synthesises all these studies and distills them into programmes that are implementable to the situation in the North-East,’’ Tumsah said.
Tumsah said that in less than a year, the committee has recorded a huge success in achieving its three “Rs’’ mandate of reconstruction, rehabilitation and rebuilding the North-East.
He explained that although a lot of people would recount the success of rebuilding the region in building physical structures but it goes beyond that, as a lot is needed to be tackled before putting up structures.
The Vice Chairman said that to carry out its task effectively, the PCNI designed and adopted a strategic framework of action which is the “Buhari Plan’’, a blueprint to guide its intervention for success.
Tumsah said that the Buhari plan contains a holistic approach to addressing the root causes of the insurgency which afterwards could also be a global module for post conflict and economic recovery development.
He said that the Buhari plan is a five-year time framework which is divided into three components for immediate implementation which are: the short term (immediate), intermediate and long term.
He explained that the Buhari plan was further distilled with the immediate and intermediate components to be executed under its high impact programme.
Tumsah said that the areas of priority under the plan includes: a boost in humanitarian assistance, improved health care, resumption and strengthening of agricultural production, education transformation by reconstructing schools, recruiting and training teachers.
He said that under the Buhari Plan, over 21,000 projects have been listed for implementation by MDAs, States Government, development partners, International and Local NGOs.
According to Tumsah, amidst scarce resources for the enormous task, the committee will judiciously use the scarce resources available to ensure a better and safer North-East.
NAN reports that the PCNI was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari on Oct. 26, 2016 with a three-year time frame to recover and rebuild a better and safer North-East.
He appointed Gen. Theoplilius Danjuma (rtd.) to serve as Chairman of the Committee.
Members of the Committees include the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI),
Others are: the six North-East States, Office of the National Security Adviser, relevant MDAs and UN agencies, International Organisations and NGO, local NGOs, the Victims Support Fund (VSF) among others.