Nigerian Government distributes relief materials in North-East

Cyril Okonkwo & Nnenna Okoronkwo, Abuja

The Nigerian Government will distribute 30,000 metric tonnes (1,032 trucks) of cereal directly to affected persons in the North-eastern states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Bauchi and Gombe.

The quarterly Special Relief Intervention plan costing about N8B, depending on current commodity prices, is expected to be flagged off by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo on Thursday 8th June, 2017 in Maiduguri, Borno State.

One of the highlights of this new distribution plan is that it eliminates the undignified practice of long and often problematic queues, replacing it with door-to-door delivery to the IDPs using a pre-issued voucher-system that promotes transparency and accountability.

Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media and Publicity) Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said in a release on Wednesday, that “the new plan is also expected to correct many of the lapses observed in delivering relief to the IDPS.”

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.

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.

“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,” he stated.

According to the National Emergency Management Agency, “this special relief intervention has the objective of highlighting the strategies that would be adopted for distribution of relief materials approved by the federal government for displaced persons in the North East in accordance with the humanitarian principles”.

It will also serve as litmus test for full cycle of intervention adapting world best practices while considering our own local peculiarities, exhibiting the best of transparency, accountability and in full consideration of the protection and integrity of the affected persons.

Each household beneficiary would be issued with a voucher, which is redeemed at the receipt of the household allocation of the food basket. It also involves taking the materials to the doorsteps of the affected persons.

The distribution is based on Dry ration calculations of 6 persons per household and food ration per individual for 30days at 280grams x30/1000k = 8.4 kg times individual requirement per household totalling 50.4 kg per household.

The Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Engr. Mustapha Maihaja said adequate measures have been put in place to ensure that the distribution was done in transparent manners for optimal accomplishment of task and operational objectives.