President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja directed Mr. Danladi Kifasi, Head of Service of the Federation, to facilitate the immediate release of N5 billion pledged by the Federal Government since August, 2014 for the Victims Support Fund (VSF).
Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), in a statement on Friday, said Buhari gave the directive after receiving a briefing from the VSF Presidential Committee headed by Lt. Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.) at the Presidential Villa.
Danjuma had told the President that out of the N55.92 billion pledged at the fund-raising dinner for the Fund in August, last year, N33.54bn was still outstanding, including N5bn from the Federal Government
He said that the VSF currently has N23.33bn in four bank accounts and that the committee received approval from the immediate-past administration to incorporate the fund into a Trust Fund to “insulate it from political interference.”
Danjuma had urged the President to use his office to persuade all organizations and individuals to honour their pledges to the committee.
President Buhari urged the committee to ensure proper coordination with other government agencies providing support and assistance to the victims of terrorism.
The President assured Danjuma and members of the VSF Committee that his administration was taking proactive steps to defeat terrorism in the country.
He said that despite the challenge of acquiring much-needed strategic equipment and weapons to confront the terrorists, the Nigerian military has recently gained much ground in its effort to defeat and degrade Boko Haram.
He added that the full deployment of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF), under the auspices of member-states of Lake Chad Basin Commission, will further boost ongoing military operations against the insurgents.