‘Overcoming humanitarian crisis will boost investments, development of Borno’
Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), Amina Mohammed, yesterday, said overcoming humanitarian crises in Borno State could boost investments and socio-economic development of the state.
She argued that if the state and entire country could conquer a decade of Boko Haram insurgency and the crises it created, there would be prosperity and sustainable livelihoods in Borno State.
Amina, who spoke when she visited Governor Babagana Zulum at Government House, Maiduguri, said the UN delegation’s visit was timely, not only on humanitarian side, but also on the development side of the state.
While pledging collaboration in efforts to develop the state, she said: “We look forward to continued collaboration with you, one that can be built with peace and prosperity,” noting that President Muhammadu Buhari also commended Zulum when she visited the president in Abuja.
She noted that her delegation was in Banki town in Bama Council Area to interface with internally displaced persons (IDPs) taking refuge in different camps, adding: “Our visit is one of the visits to countries in solidarity with government and the UN staff working in those countries.
We’re also to get responses of the COVID-19 health crisis that has befallen the world and how we can amplify priorities and efforts that needed by governments.”
She said during the visit to Banki, members of the UN delegation noticed that the IDPs actually desired to go back home, adding that most of the people wanted their sources of livelihood back and have access to basic services.
While lamenting the incessant attacks, she said: “Boko Haram insurgency is one of the worst situations affecting the region.”
Responding, Zulum commended the development partners for their continued support to state government and people.
He told the UN delegation that the state government had received overwhelming requests from the people to return to their ancestral towns.
He explained that the process of returning the IDPs to the communities was being carefully worked out, considering all factors such as security, shelter, livelihoods and continued presence of civil authorities.
The governor said the civil authorities would maintain peace and inspire confidence to the communities, noting that in spite of the challenges, the state government had successfully returned people to their places of origin, which were confirmed to be safe.
“Consultations and empirical data have shown that livelihoods remain a major challenge to the IDPs in camps and host communities,” he said and assured that government was working hard to revive small-scale industries to create jobs for sustainable development.