The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has suspended the ongoing distribution of fertilisers to the 2018 flood and herders crises victims in Benue.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that NEMA had on Oct. 3, commenced the distribution of 226 trucks of fertilisers to the disasters victims in Benue.
NAN reports that the fertilisers are part of the Federal Government Agricultural Emergency Intervention Programme aimed at assisting 2018 flood and herders crisis victims across the country.
Speaking during the joint press briefing in Makurdi, the head of NEMA team in Benue, Dr Martins Ejike said the Federal Government suspended the distribution across the 18 benefiting states.
Ejike, a deputy director in the agency said that the agency through the collaboration of SEMA and security agencies had successfully distributed fertilisers to beneficiaries in five out of the 23 local governments in the state.
“It is a national directive that for now we should suspend the distribution. When government says suspend it has a lot of implications or interpretations, it could be for a review of the programme.
“For now, nobody can predict what the government wants to do.
“So far, we covered five local governments before the suspension order out of the 23 councils. So we have outstanding 18 councils. We have distributed a total of 39,927 bags and we have a balance of 74, 709 bags.”
Ejike said the people were so much appreciative of the intervention and were eager to benefit from the distribution.
NAN reports that each of the enumerated beneficiaries was going home with five bags of the fertiliser.
Mr Emmanuel Shior, the Executive Secretary, Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), appealed to the Federal Government to reconsider its decision to suspend the distribution of fertiliser to disaster victims in the state.
Shior said it would only be fair for all enumerated victims to benefit from the intervention programme.
He said that state acknowledged the importance of the intervention programme, especially because of the huge humanitarian challenge it faced as a result of the disasters.
“The Federal Government agricultural emergency intervention programme in the state is very useful and the victims themselves have attested to this fact.
“So, we are saying that since they have started distribution and some local governments have already benefited, it will only be fair if the distribution is completed.”
He said that the Benue government had directed his agency to put a plane in place for the closure of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and return them to their homes.
“Gov. Ortom has directed us to put a plane in place to close the camps and return the IDPs to their communities but you see, most of these communities were badly affected, houses and farmlands are destroyed.
“So if we close the camps now, where will the IDPs go and if we don’t close the camps, are we as a government going to continue keeping them?
“It is a big problem and we appeal to the Federal Government for intervention,’’ Shior said. (NAN)