* PCNI meets service chiefs over terrorism, reconstruction
* Navy to build outpost in Lake Chad
The federal government tuesday said it was seeking about $400 million World Bank loan to rebuild the North-east of the country, where Boko Haram terrorists had destroyed many of its infrastructure and social system.
Chairman of the Presidential Committee on North-east Initiative (PCNI), Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (Rtd), stated this during a visit by the Security and Peace Building Sub-Committee of the PCNI to the service chiefs in Abuja.
Danjuma who was represented by the Deputy Chairman of the committee, Alhaji Tijani Tumsah, said the federal government was committed to kick-starting the robust rebuilding of the North-east in order to bring normalcy to the troubled region.
He said: “The federal government is seeking a World Bank loan to rebuild the North-east. These figures will reach up to $400 million.
“And so we seek collaboration with the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) in a lot of ways, some of the areas, including using your experiences to curb violent extremism, disarmament, mobilisation, construction and renovation of schools.”
Tumsah said going forward, there was need to enhance the delivery of humanitarian services, adding that the Armed Forces must not relent in their efforts to make sure that the insurgency was completely ended.
At the Defence Headquarters, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Abayomi Olonisakin, pledged the military’s unflinching support and collaboration in line with the committee’s action plan of ensuring a coordinated framework for lasting peace and stability in the North-east
Represented by the Chief of Defence Policy and Plans, Air Vice Marshal Bashir Saidu, the CDS said the military was ready to collaborate with the PCNI in every area that would obliterate the suffering of the displaced persons and assist in the speedy rebuilding of the damaged infrastructure.
The CDS commended the quality of the committee’s membership, stating that all that was needed was a close collaboration between the military on one side and the committee on the other side until the war against insurgency was brought to a successful conclusion.
He added that the military was willing to provide strategic intervention towards peace building initiatives as it pushed for continuous synergy with stakeholders in the North-east.
At the Nigerian Air Force Headquarters, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, assured the committee of the force’s readiness to assist the PCNI in its intervention efforts in the North -east.
Abubakar explained that what was critical at the moment was the need to ensure that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) returned to their homes and also to support their stay in the camps and make them a bit comfortable.
The CAS pledged to assist the committee to transport any humanitarian materials to the North-east as a strategy to reduce the burden in the region.
At the Naval Headquarters, the Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Vice Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas, who also met with the PCNI, said plans were underway by the Nigerian Navy to build an outpost station in the Lake Chad Basin.
Ibas explained that the plan would ensure that all forms of criminality and terrorism perpetuated by groups like the Boko Haram would be checkmated.
While commending the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari for setting up the committee, Ibas said: “It is needless to say that this committee is pivotal to sustaining enduring peace in the North-east by winning hearts and minds of the people and quickly resettling those affected to their various communities.
“We have the Navy participation through the on-going operation in the North-east. We also have identified the strategic importance of the Lake Chad.
“And to that effect, the Navy is currently consolidating on the establishment of the Navy outpost in the area.”
Ibas maintained that the setting up of the outpost was geared towards resuscitating both military operations and socio-economic activities within the region.
Meanwhile, the Director of Information, Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Christian Ezekobe, yesterday handed over to Captain Suleiman Dahun, who takes over in acting capacity.