The Federal Government said it had approved a five-year special interventional programme that would enable it to accelerate the socio-economic development of states in the North-East geo-political zone of the country.
The Minister of State for Finance, Dr. Yerima Ngama, disclosed this during a chat with journalists in Abuja on Sunday.
President Goodluck Jonathan had in response to increasingly violent attacks by Islamic extremists, declared state of emergency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in May.
The move had paralysed economic activities in the region and slowed down developmental projects being implemented in the affected states.
As a first step towards accelerating development in the region, the minister said N2bn had been set aside in the 2014 budget for the affected states.
The N2bn, he said, would be used to alleviate the sufferings of people in the states.
This, according to him, will be achieved by giving grants to poor women and youth for the acquisition of working equipment.
He said while the Federal Government was working hard to restore peace to the region, the intervention would help to alleviate poverty among the people.
Ngama said, “Mr. President has some initiatives in the North Eastern part of the country, particularly the states under state of emergency that has been devastated by insurgency.
“Many people have fled those places and government has been investing a lot to bring peace to the North East but while government is working on the peace initiative, government also has to look for some of the root causes of what is happening.
“And that is why government is working to alleviate the economic condition of the people in the North East especially the youth, the women and those people who are engaged in one craft or the other.”