…As World body insists 4.4 million persons risk acute hunger in Northeast
By Ndahi Marama
United Nations, UN and Borno State Government, yesterday decried the devastating effect of insecurity, especially Boko Haram insurgency on Nigeria, saying it had undermined Nigeria’s economic growth and development.
They spoke at the 20th Joint Planning Board (JPB) National Council on Development Planning, NCDP, meeting held at the Government House, Maiduguri.
Speaking, Secretary to the Borno State Government, SSG, Usman Shuwa, lamented that insecurity had varied devastating effects on the socio-economic and political landscape of the country.
While declaring the summit with the theme: “Managing the Nigerian Economy for Sustainable Development in a Challenging Environment,” open, Shuwa said: “The most daunting of these challenges, is the issue of insecurity characterized by the unending Boko Haram insurgency.”
According to him, the security challenges included criminal activities of banditry and kidnapping as well as the socio-economic threats to business outfits, attributing the socio-economic threats in the state to unemployment, poverty and youths restiveness.
He said: “the negative effects of insecurity are widespread with adverse effects of stifling economic growth and development. Insecurity has devastated the economic livelihood of our people at the local level in farming and commercial activities among others. Insecurity has to be overcome for any strategic plans to have impacts on the socio-economic development of the country.”
On his part, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, represented by Miss Esty Sutyoko, reiterated that “4.4 million persons in the Northeast are facing acute hunger at the peak of lean season, as well as into the rainy season.”
He lamented that “the humanitarian assistance is increasing; while funding is declining.”
Also speaking, Borno State Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning, Adamu Lawan said: “There will be no development where there is no security and there will also be no development where there is COVID-19 pandemic.
On the impact of the economic summit, he said: “Peace has returned to the state, while people are coming to showcase what is happening in the state,” adding that ”it will boost the image of the state with the building of confidence for the organised private sector (OPS) to invest.”
He said as the government has no business in running industries, the private sector manages them efficiently.
While acknowledging excellent collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and the Governors of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states, she said: “We’re working to alleviate suffering and save lives of people affected by 12 years of conflict in the three states.”