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100,000 Lives Lost, 2 Million Displaced, $9 Billion Damages Incurred In Nigeria’s Boko Haram/ISWAP Insurgency, Says CDS

Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor, on Tuesday said the Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province ISWAP) insurgency has led to the death of 100,000 persons, the displacement of over two million citizens and $9 billion (N3.24 trillion) worth of damage.

General Irabor, who spoke at the closing ceremony of the 2022 Ministerial Performance Review Retreat in Abuja, however said that the insurgency is now restricted to a corner of the territory they previously inhabited while admitting that they have made some inroads into the Northwest.

He also affirmed that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) received N2.5 trillion in seven years in budgetary provision and have been able to “tremendously” increase Internal Security Operations (ISOs).

However, he regretted that the amount received is just 35% of AFN requirements and below 0.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

While speaking on the AFN operations in the Niger Delta, he said militancy has transmuted to crude oil theft, noting the gaps exist in the National Security Strategy, which he said can be overcome through the initiative of the political leadership, military operations and the attitude of the population.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed Executive Order 012 on Improving Performance Management, Coordination and Implementation of Presidential Priorities at the occasion.

The President explained that it would institutionalise a culture of accountability and transparency in the pursuit of good governance.

The President also said that following discussion and recommendations, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development had been directed to engage with relevant stakeholders to ensure the completion of all large-scale integrated Rice Processing Mills before the end of this administration.

“This will help our country to maintain sufficiency in the local production of rice as the ban on the importation of foreign rice will be sustained,” he said.

On electricity, President Buhari directed that all hands must be on deck to ensure timely realization of the increase in electricity generation to 25,000 Megawatts in six years.

He recounted that the plan on electricity generation, through the partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and German Siemens AG, is on course as the first batch of the transformers has arrived Nigeria already.

Considering the huge investment made in the rail sector, the President directed the Ministry of Transportation and relevant security agencies to ensure the provision of maximum security along the railway corridors.

“We must ensure the safety of our rail users and strive to achieve the intended economic goals. We must at the same time ensure realizable schedules and first-class maintenance.

”Following the milestones recorded in the road sector, coupled with the innovative ways of funding road infrastructure, the Ministry of Works and Housing has been directed to compile a list of all completed roads, bridges and other infrastructure for commissioning before the end of this administration,” he said.

He, therefore, directed the minister to facilitate and work with the Attorney General of the Federation in transmitting the Federal Executive Council’s approved National Social Investment Programme Establishment Bill (2022) to the National Assembly.

This, he said, would ensure the sustainability of this important programme which leaves a lasting legacy for the vulnerable Nigerians by this administration.

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