The Federal Government says it had set aside about N5.5 billion for intervention in the critical health sector in the North East to address the devastation caused by the Boko Haram terrorism.
Prof. Isaac Adewole, the Minister of Health stated this while speaking at the opening of the of Saving One Million Lives Program for the North East in Maiduguri on Friday.
Adebowale said that the money would be channeled through the Task Force on the North East.
“Mr President has approved the Task Force for the North East, the Task Force is a sub-unit of the Presidential Committee on the North East.
“That Tasks Force is under the direction of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and it is being chaired by the Minister of Budget and National Planning Mr Udoma Udoma,” he said.
Adebowale explained that the Task Force will focus mainly on four key areas.
“The Task Force is to address four critical areas in the next six months, it will address water, environment, health and nutrition issues.
“In six months we want to restore sanity in the four sectors, I want to tell you that each sector is chaired by a minister,” he said.
Adebowale added:“I am the chairman of the sub-committee on health and our budget of N4.3billion has been approved for the North East.
“That budget will entail spending about N4billion on health and nutrition for the sub region with emphasis on Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, in other words, within the health sector.
“We are committing about N5.5billion to Borno and the neighboring states in the North East with respect to the urgency”.
He said that the gesture was a pointer to the level of commitment by the President on the sub region.
“This demonstrates Mr President’s interest in the North East,” Adebowale said.
He said that the Presidential Committee would be inaugurated soon to further address the problems of the North East just like America addressed Europe’s after World War II.
He explained further that ministry decided to hold the meeting in Borno to show the world that peace had returned to the state.
“It is an indication of confidence that we have in Borno that we are comfortable to bring all our people here, we thank God for this opportunity.
“Our being here is significant it has several purposes,” Adebowale said.
He said that the ministry had also approved the supply of drugs and other commodities worth N1.2billion to Borno to tackle health challenges.
“We are providing drugs and other commodities worth about N1.2 billion to the state to tackle emergencies in health sector.
“I told the commissioner that we have delivered drugs worth commodities N400 million to the state.
“We are going to add N800million worth of drugs to make it N1.2 billion, but he said that state does not need one of the drugs, and I told him that we will replace it,” Adebowale said.