Plateau denies diverting IDPs’ N20b

Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong

Plateau State government has denied allegations by the opposition that it diverted N20 billion meant for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.

The denial came during the 2019 budget breakdown by the Commissioner of Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Sylvester Wallangko, at the ministry’s conference hall of the cabinet office.

Wallangko explained that it would be callous to divert any money meant for IDPs, stressing that the state runs a responsible and accountable government.

“Opposition is not correct. If something like that happened, we would declare it. N20 billion is a huge sum of money that could not be paid secretly. So, the allegation is baseless. If N20 billion comes in, it will be made public. Those who are making the allegation should think twice,” he warned.

The ‘Budget of Rescue and Infrastructural Growth’ has a size of N153.5 billion, the commissioner disclosed during the budget breakdown, pointing out that N68 billion (44.33 per cent) was for capital projects, while N85.4 billion (55.37 per cent) was for recurrent expenditure.

Similarly, the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr. Edward Kallon, has demanded humanitarian aid and protection to 10,000 Borno residents who relocated to Maiduguri.

The residents were on Monday relocated from Jakana, Mainok and Auno communities to Bakassi IDPs camp to give way for military operations in the Maiduguri-Damaturu axis.

All the communities are located along the 132-kilometre Maiduguri-Damaturu road.

Kallon said in Maiduguri: “The military ordered the immediate departure of and forced relocation of 10,000 civilians in the middle of the night, without prior warning.”

He said the residents of communities were transported by the military in buses or trucks to the Bakassi IDP camp in Maiduguri.

According to him, the military relocated the civilians for security reasons ahead of planned operations in the area.

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