Sen. Ali Ndume (APC-Borno), on Monday urged the Federal Government to increase the amount set aside for the reconstruction of the North-East.
Ndume, who made the call when he featured at newsmen Forum in Abuja, said the call became necessary in view of the pressures from the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and increase in the price of oil to 80 dollars per barrel.
He said that the budgetary allocation of 45 billion naira for the reconstruction of the zone was not enough.
“In one or two areas in Borno State especially Marge and Abadan, the Nigerian Army took over that place for a very long time, but the people have not been able to go back because the houses have not been rebuilt and these things cannot be done by the state government.
“In fact that is why the whole world is so worried.
“In Norway last year, just within four hours, the international community raised over 240 million US dollars.
“This year I think as at last month the international contribution for the humanitarian crisis has gone up to about 540 million dollars; but the Nigerian government is budgeting just 45 billion, which is too small coupled with the fact that now the price of oil has gone up to 80 (dollars per barrel).
“I am using this forum to call on the Nigerian Government to do more or to put in more.
“One of the major challenges that I am constantly facing from my electorate or my people is, they want to go back home. They really want to go back home.
“We have IDPs in Abuja in 14 camps. I have stopped visiting them because each time I go there, they ask me the same question. When are we going back home and I have no concrete answer for them.
“I think the government should follow the insurgency with resettling the people.
“It is only when people are back to their localities, the schools take off, hospitals off and the civil authority takes off that you will say that normalcy has returned to those areas,’’ he said.
Ndume, however, urged the people to be patient as the Federal Government had concluded plans to resettle them.
He praised the Federal Government for ensuring that normalcy returned to the zone.