The Borno State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) has sought the approval of the state House of Assembly for a proposed budget of N1 billion for its operation in 2022.
The state’s leading relief agency currently runs on an approved 2021 budget of N500 million.
Yabawa Kolo, the Director-General of SEMA, said during a budget defence that only a double of its current budget would be sufficient to enable the agency to deal with new phases of humanitarian challenges like the final relocation of IDPs, the provision of lifelines and empowerment kits, as well as reorganisation of the agency to tackle other non-Boko Haram related crisis and support services to other sister government MDAs.
Kolo said SEMA has achieved an 80 per cent performance in the current 2021 budget, which she justified with the massive relocation of IDPs to their communities as well as constant provision of food and non-food palliative support to displaced persons within and outside the state capital.
For next year, she said her agency would be embarking on capacity building for its workers and volunteers to reorient them about the critical work they are expected to deliver aside a provision of relief services.
“Currently, we are being mandated by the state government to close all the IDP camps within the Maiduguri metropolis, and that shifts us gradually to the stabilisation phase of the crisis. We would monitor them as they settle in their new and former communities to ensure that they are well stabilised.”
“The State Government would be actively engaged through SEMA in the areas of livelihood support, provision of basic facilities and services like education needs and also social cohesion.”
The DG SEMA who made this disclosure after a budget defence session with the House Communities on Borno State Governor’s Office and MDAs said 2022 would be a critical year for the state government and her agency as ample resources would be required to help people that have been displaced by insurgency resettle back in their communities.
“This involves mobilising all stakeholders to see how the victims and repentant perpetrators can negotiate better ways of living together once again,” she said.
“All these would involve the massive deployment of resources, and that’s why we have put forward a proposed budget of N1,023,000,000 for 2022.”
Ajikolo Khadi,the Chairman of the House Committee on Borno State Governor’s Office and MDAs, commended the management of SEMA for “the good works they have done in 2021 to attain an impressive budget performance of 80 per cent.”
He said SEMA got N500 million funding last year because “2020/2021 weren’t good years, looking at the pandemic and economic meltdown which restricted so many activities around the world.”
“Things have improved despite the recent mild outbreak of Omicron virus that has been reported, and SEMA will get its funding. We know that one N1 billion naira is not even enough, but we still have windows through which we can jack it up if the need arises – which is through virement or supplementary budgeting.”
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