Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Babacir Lawal, says President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to rebuilding North East ravaged by of boko haram insurgency.
Lawal, who made this known while speaking with newsmen in Yola, added that “we are very lucky in the North-East because the president is passionate about the region.”We have in the president a sympathiser to our problems,”.
He said that the Federal Government had started implementing this year’s budget, adding that there was substantial money budgeted for projects in areas of infrastructure and rehabilitation in the region.
“The North East is going to experience a lot of reconstruction and rehabilitation this year.”
Babacir explained that organisations supported by the government such as General Danjuma Committee, Victim Support Fund, NEMA and Presidential Committee on North East (PINE) were also actively involved in the North East project.
On activities of Niger Delta militants, the SGF said that while security agencies were doing their job, the administration was committed to dialogue in resolving the problem.
He however explained that the main challenge the government was facing was identifying the genuine representatives of the militants.
“Government is not averse to discussing with them (militants) but we need to know who is in charge and who we can discuss with meaningfully; that’s the dilemma of the government at the moment.
“There are so many groups making it difficult to know who to talk to and the level of control that group will bring to the process,” he said.
Lawal appealed to leaders of Niger Delta communities to intervene in calling the militants to order, pointing out that the activities of the militants were more inimical to the region than other parts of the country.
“When they blow up oil pipelines the spill destroys their water and lands, a development that will take years to recover; they are more victims than the rest of Nigerians.”
The SGF explained that the militant activities, which he described as “pure act of sabotage” had seriously affected the nation’s crude oil export and energy supply.