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Tuesday, July 21

Over one million Nigerians displaced by Boko Haram – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said priority must be given to the resettlement of people who were displaced internally as a result of the activities of the Boko Haram sect in the North-Eastern part of Nigeria.

He put the number of the affected persons at over one million.

According to a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, the President spoke during a meeting he had with representatives of the World Bank, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Health Organisation in Washington.

Adesina quoted the President as saying that apart from rebuilding the affected region in terms of infrastructure, priority must also be given to the IDPs.

The presidential spokesman added that during the meeting, the World Bank unfolded a package which would see it spending up to $2.1billion in rebuilding the badly devastated area ravaged for the past six years by the Boko Haram insurgency.

The statement read in part, “The President urged the World Bank to send a team, which would work in concert with a team from the Federal Government, so that a proper assessment of needs could be done.

“The World Bank will spend the $2.1billion through its IDA (International Development Agency), which gives low interest rates loans to government.

“The first 10 years will be interest-free, while an additional 30 years will be at lower than capital market rate.

“The World Bank is eager to move in quickly, give out the loans, and give succour to the people of North-East, long at the mercy of an insurgency that has claimed over 20,000 souls.”

Adesina added that the WHO is also to invest $300million on immunisation against malaria in Nigeria, while the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will collaborate with Dangote Foundation to ensure that the country maintains its zero polio case record of the past one year.

If the effort is sustained for another two years, the presidential spokesman said Nigeria would be declared fully free of polio.

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