Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has welcomed the offer of support from Ambassadors from several nations who are based in the country regarding the rehabilitation programmes of the Buhari presidency for the North-East region.
In a meeting with several Ambassadors, heads of mission and diplomats from the United States, Japan, Turkey, Canada, Australia and eight European nations Monday in his office, the Vice President thanked the envoys and their countries “for your attention to matters of the North-East, the very close attention that you pay, and the so many international bodies and agencies who have acted and expressed their wishes to offer assistance.”
He said the issue of the rehabilitation of the North-East is a “matter close to the president’s heart,” adding that he himself is also very active in the overall coordination of the efforts.
According to him, coordination of the rehabilitation plans is now the critical issue, expressing the expectation that the envoys would work with the Presidential Committee on the North-East, PCNI, headed by General T.Y. Danjuma.
He explained that the PCNI is now the new structure President Muhammadu Buhari has put in place to coordinate the efforts, clarifying that the PCNI now encompasses the Presidential Initiative on the North-East, which was the former body in place. But the PCNI now also includes the Victims Support Fund, VSF, headed by Danjuma and Safe Schools Initiative formerly in the federal Finance Ministry.
Prof Osinbajo added that his office would actively and directly be involved in overseeing the new structure in addition to his office’s responsibility to supervise the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, another active agency in the process.
The group of ambassadors called “Like-Minded Ambassadors on support for the North-East” was led to the meeting with the Vice President by the United States Ambassador, Mr. James Entwistle who expressed the interest of the international community to partner with the Federal Government in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the North-East zone of the country destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgency.
According to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Entwistle, the group was at “the State House to meet with the Vice President, to compare notes and make sure that we understand each other on the scope and size of humanitarian challenges and how we can coordinate when the time comes for the internally displaced to go home.”
He also said the group has come to discuss the upcoming workshops and seminars and for the diplomats representing different countries to know areas where they can help as some of them are already helping.
The Ambassador/Head of the European Union Delegation in Nigeria, Mr. Michel Arrion also spoke at the meeting, disclosing that the EU has set aside a trust fund he described as a basket fund, from which funds would be drawn to offer assistance, especially in addressing the root causes of crisis in the Sahel region.
EU nations represented at the meeting included Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Denmark, Switzerland, Netherlands and Norway.
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