About $258million African Development Bank (AfDB) funded intervention projects in the north-east region of the country was unveiled in Abuja yesterday by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The programme will be in partnership with the Nigerian government and is to activate critical impact areas of recovery in the region, ravaged by the insurgent group Boko Haram.
Speaking at the launch of Inclusive Basic Service Delivery and Livelihood Empowerment Integrated Project (IBSIP) for the people of Northeast Nigeria, Vice President Osinbajo said the IBSIP, which will be implemented by the Federal Government of Nigeria and AfDB, is an intervention focused on investing in infrastructural restoration, the reactivation of social services and the rejuvenation of livelihoods and the culture of enterprise which are necessary for sustainable post-conflict communities
“The AfDB is investing roughly $258 million in the effort to activate critical impact areas of recovery in the North East identified in the Buhari Plan,” he said.
He also said: “Our goal is to achieve, through this project, transformative improvements in water security and sanitation, food security, hygiene, nutrition, the provision of primary health care, basic education, access to markets, entrepreneurship and job creation.
“We are particularly interested in empowering the youth, women and the vulnerable in ways that are not typical of such interventions. This is because for us as an administration, we recognize that a commitment to transform Nigerian lives is invariably a commitment to transform the lives of the weakest and most vulnerable persons in our country.”
According to him the “Buhari Plan” identifies key areas of critical impact which guide the design of intervention programmes in the North-East.
“I am happy to note that the AfDB has, in the design and implementation of the IBSIP, keyed into the Buhari Plan, and is funding projects that will benefit an estimated 14 million affected people, including over 2.3 million Internally Displaced Persons.
“In line with our administration’s focus on the vulnerable, 80 percent of the target beneficiaries are women, children and youth. We are also paying especial attention to rural households in the Local Government Areas affected by the insurgency,” he added.
The governor of Bauchi State, Barrister Mohammed Abdullah Abubakar in his address, said illiteracy and lack of economic capacity fuelled the Boko Haram insurgency, and the interventions would go a long way in reducing or end the menace.
In his remarks, Senior Director, African Development Bank Group, Ebrima Faal, who stood in for the bank’s President, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina said an estimated population of 14 million affected people including about 2.3 million IDPs (of which 53 % are women, and 57 % are children) are expected to directly benefit from the basic service delivery interventions in health and nutrition, education and water and sanitation.
He said: “Over 9,000 IDPs and head of vulnerable households will receive direct assistance for their economic reintegration and livelihoods. Over 2000 Small and Medium Enterprises (79% women) will be reached to develop and enhance their businesses; 2,900 construction artisans and mechanics working in the informal sector will be supported to enhance quality and productivity and 2,000 unskilled youth will be trained in economic skills for employment and job creation.”
In his welcome address, Vice Chairman, Presidential Committee on the North-east Initiative, Tijjani Tumsah, said the new programme does not focus on building physical infrastructure alone but human capacity will be supported and strengthened.