BY NDAHI MARAMA, MAIDUGURI
Borno state governor, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum has pledged his administration’s full support to the military and other security agencies to recapture the Marte local government area which was taken over last week and currently under the occupation of Boko Haram.
He said the renewed attacks in some parts of the state, especially in Dikwa and Marte and other resettled communities would not deter the present administration in its recovery, reconstruction and resettlement drive in the state.
The governor stated this on Monday at the North East Development Commission (NEDC) official launching of Rapid Response Intervention (RRI) across the six (6) states of Taraba, Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi and Borno which took place at the Multi-Purpose Hall, Government House, Maiduguri.
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Zulum while thanking President Muhammadu Buhari and the NEDC for its support to the traumatized citizens in the region, appealed to the Commission to key into some critical areas such as restoration of power, road construction, agricultural transformation and livestock production in the state.
His words; “Today’s Intervention/support by NEDC is the huge amongst any other interventions we got in Borno State, although, some parts of Borno have witnessed renewed attacks by insurgents in the last one week, I want to assure that my administration is in full support of the military and other security agencies to recapture Marte local government area which was attacked and currently under the occupation of Boko Haram.
“These renewed attacks in some parts of the state, especially in Dikwa and Marte and other resettled communities would not deter the present administration in its recovery, reconstruction and resettlement drive in the state,” Zulum stated.
Earlier in his address, the Managing Director, NEDC, Alhaji Goni Alkali said apart from Rapid Response Intervention (RRI) across the six (6) states of Taraba, Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi and Borno, the commission, the commission resolved to implement an average of two projects in each of the 112 Local Government Areas of the region, with a budget envelope of N50 million per Local Government, even as he said the budget for the initiative was pegged at N6 billion for implementation of all approved projects.
Goni disclosed that in order to ensure the projects were demand-driven, the Commission requested State Governments to nominate sectors, including education, health, social infrastructure and agriculture.
The response according to him was massive, with states requesting for a total of 1,310 projects estimated to cost about N5.8 billion, but when teams were sent to carry out preliminary assessments of projects and sites, the total number was rationalized to 647 across all the states in the region.
He also said the implementation of the RRI projects in Borno is almost completed with today’s handing- over to the state of about 40,000 two-seater classrooms furniture for distribution to schools in the 27 council areas.
The Managing Director said apart from the RRI, 166 youths were trained and now graduates of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Computer Graphics and Cell phone Repairs who are to be kitted with Free Starter Packs and the sum of N20,000 each to enable them to hit the ground running.
He also stated that the Commission has provided food and non-food items worth over N4 billion to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) residing in various camps in Borno in the last one year, stressing that as part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval to construct 10,000 houses to accommodate IDP returnees, the Commission has already embarked on the construction of the first batch of 1000 houses at Ngowom in Mafa Local Government Area which would soon be completed and handed over to the state.
On Covid -19 prevention, the Commission Goni said, had sensitized the public on the dangers of the highly contagious disease, this is in addition to today’s flagging off distribution of 35,000 branded face masks for private and public primary schools in the state as well as for security agencies and to members of the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).
He also said 2000 pieces of hand sanitisers, 100 pieces of infrared thermometers would be distributed to primary schools across the state as well as 500 pieces of Bio Super Wound Gel for clinics at IDPs camps.