As Internally Displaced Persons in Borno State cry out over food shortage, a House of Representatives committee has faulted the large volume of food being stored in warehouses.
The House committee members on the Northeast Development Commission led by its Chairman, Khadija Bukar made the discovery during its oversight functions in Borno State, also the headquarters of the commission.
Managing Director of the NEDC, Professor Mohammed Alkali, conducted the team round where they visited several project sites and food warehouses of the Commission within Maiduguri.
While the committee commends the NEDC for its work, it was however disappointed by the large volume of food it discovered in the NEDC warehouse.
The chairperson of the state emergency management agency Yabawa Kolo explained to the committee that NEMA provides a monthly subsistence for official IDP camps, augmented by SEMA.
“When we observe that the outcry is too high that they need special intervention especially in the area of grains we write the NEDC seeking for their support and the state government will also source out of the lean resources to do the special intervention but the regular food monthly distribution is for NEMA.” Kolo stated.
She further explains that since NEMA covers only official camps, the remaining burden in the host community and other places rests on the government sometimes assisted by partners like the World Food Programme, also operating in hard to reach areas.
A directive was immediately given to the NEDC to shorten bureaucratic processes of food disbursement now responsible for hunger among the supposed end users.
“The bureaucracy of shifting the food is too much because you have to write NEDC, they will now disburse to you and you are the frontliners you will now go and disburse the food, it’s laid back. I think you should change the system. You should sit down and reorganize yourselves better if you could. Let the food get to the end users as soon as possible because if you’re thinking of having compiled this over a period of time I think you’re doing very well in that you have the food we are very impressed with the store there’s hardly anywhere to stand but disburse it.” The committee unanimously agreed in one of the warehouses.
The National Assembly committee admits that the challenges in the Northeast are enormous, but noted that NEDC is empowered by the law that established it in 2017 to address them and provide succour to the people.