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Shettima sets deadline for reconstruction, rehabilitation of 22 communities




THE Borno State government has set a deadline for the “reconstruction and rehabilitation” of 22 communities destroyed by Boko Haram in the state as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has yesterday taken over the management of resettlement camps in Maiduguri metropolis.

The rehabilitation deadline was disclosed yesterday by Governor Kashim Shettima while briefing Director-General of NEMA, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Sidi, at the Government House on the state of destroyed towns and villages for reconstruction and rehabilitation.

The over 125,000 displaced persons are currently being resettled by Borno State Emergency Management Agency (BOSEMA) at 22 established camps in Maiduguri metropolis and Biu.

The reconstruction and rehabilitation of communities, according to the governor, would commence immediately after the Ramadan.

His words: “The Borno State government is planning to reconstruct and rehabilitate all the destroyed communities with the assistance of your effective agency, NEMA. As the state government has already collaborated on the management of camps, this agency will also assist in the rebuilding of these destroyed communities by insurgency by providing building materials and other interventions to enable displaced persons return before the end of this year.

“We need at least N500 million to adequately maintain the camps; and now with the take-over of camps, more resources will be re-allocated for the rehabilitation and reconstruction programme that will commence immediately after Ramadan.”

Responding, Sidi said that the agency accounts for 70 per cent of IDPs in the three North-East states of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe affected by the six-year Boko Haram insurgency.

“This agency was working round the clock in resettling the displaced persons in the 22 IDP camps in Maiduguri and Biu. We are working towards durable resettlement of displaced persons in the North-East. We are in Borno as a follow-up visit on our humanitarian efforts so that the IDPs are comfortably resettled before they return to their communities this year.”

He said NEMA had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Borno government on the management of humanitarian needs of the displaced persons about two months ago, adding that his visit was aimed at kick-starting the humanitarian support for the IDPs which his agency is constitutionally empowered to implement.

“We had visited the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH) to see those injured in recent bomb blasts,” said Sidi.

The agency also delivered over 26,000 bags of rice, assorted food items, medication and other relief materials for displaced Boko Haram victims in the state.

While commending the agency, Shettima lauded the NEMA boss, stating that he had shown personal commitment to the plight of displaced Boko Haram victims.

He said: “Under the stewardship of Alhaji Sidi, NEMA is one of the performing agencies of the Federal Government. He has made an effort to impact on the lives of people through the activities of the agency.”

The governor confirmed that the DG visited Borno on several occasions “even during inclement political environment. There have been DGs before him, but none has brought visibility and impact on people’s lives like the current DG.”

Like Oliver Twist, he also asked for more support from NEMA, especially on building materials to rebuild the 22 Boko Haram destroyed communities in the state.

“We will need zinc, roofing planks, cement and other materials and I won’t mind coming to beg you again for the sake of my people,” said Shettima.

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