Borno plans N1.8b road projects, receives UNHCR’s building materials

Borno  State Governor, Kashim Shettima

Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima

In its bid to fast track the return of displaced persons, the Borno State Government has earmarked N1.8 billion for the rebuilding of three border communities and completion of 55-kilometre Damboa-Chibok-Mbalala road project.
 
The State Governor, Kashim Shettima who disclosed this while signing the N183.84 billion budget into law at the Government House, Maiduguri, said the rebuilding of liberated border communities and completion of two roads projects, were inevitable.

He said: “As peace has returned to Borno State, and with re-opening of roads to liberated border communities by the military, the State Executive Council (SEC) approved N750 million, with an immediate release of N370 million to Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (MRRR) to commence rebuilding destroyed houses and shops in Damasak, Damboa and Gambouru/Ngala.”

 
According to him, with the signing of the budget into law, more funds would be released for commencement of the border Gambouru-Rann road project.

He added that the return of displaced persons to their ancestral homes could restore their dignity, instead of continue to live in resettlement camps.Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) has donated building materials worth N100 million for returning Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from six council areas in Borno State.
 
According to the organization the donation was part of efforts towards re-building the destroyed houses and shops in Konduga, Bama, Gwoza, Damboa, Dikwa and Mafa councils.The building materials donated include; bundles of corrugated roofing zinc, bags of cement, nails, and other building materials as well as a cash donation N30, 000 to each displaced person.
 
Speaking at the event, Governor Shettima commended the agency for the donation. “This contribution by the UN refugee agency is timely as it came at a point when the State Government through the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (MRRR commenced massive reconstruction process of destroyed communities across the 27 Local Council Areas of Borno,” he said.

While flagging off the distribution of donated building materials to 300 IDPs at Konduga, the governor called on other humanitarian agencies to assist Borno in its trying moments, as peace has returned. It was gathered that more displaced persons have indicated interest to vacate resettlement camps and go back to their communities.
 
In his remarks, the Commissioner, Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (MRRR), Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum said, apart from 300 beneficiaries in Konduga, 100 are to benefit in Bama, 300 each in Mafa and Damboa while  about 1,000 returning displaced persons would equally benefit from Dikwa and Gwoza liberated communities.

He said that it cost the UN agency N100 million to procure the building materials for the state government.The Head of Sub – Office, North East of UNHCR in Maiduguri, Caesar Tsitlimbo expressed the agency’s willingness to assist Borno, in view of the devastation perpetrated by activities of Boko Haram in the last seven years.

“Temporary solution of living in resettlement camps is not good to the people of the state. He said that UNHCR is ever ready to render humanitarian services to victims of violence to ensure a speedy reconstruction and resettlement of people in their liberated communities”.



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