The sum of N84m has been distributed to 2,200 families who returned after fleeing from insurgent attacks in Banki town, Borno state.
The purpose of the funds is to empower the families start up in trading for their livelihoods, and to contribute towards reviving Banki’s economy.
The Borno State Governor Babagana Umara Zulum, was in Banki town after a multi- stakeholder meeting attended by eight Governors within the Lake Chad region.
Officials of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, multi national forces, among others, were in Yaounde for the meeting that focused on security co-operation, stability, and economic recovery in the Lake Chad region.
Banki is a commercial town in Bama local Government area of Borno State , which shares border with Cameroon.
The town was totally ransacked by Boko Haram some years ago and Zulum who had been there at different times, has been making efforts to resuscitate the town with hundreds of shelters now built for returnees.
During the disburment, a municipal offices that include Immigration, Customs, Police posts and Barracks were commissioned for the purpose of restorating civil authorities, which was executed by the Borno State Government through the UNDP’s regional stabilization facility (RSF).
The Governor was accompanied by the UNDP’s resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mohammed Yahaya, UN resident Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, Director General for Africa at the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Heike Thiele, Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Lein Eliiv, among other humanitarian partners.
Governor Zulum said , “We are here this afternoon to support communities of Banki through the regional stabilization facility. People of Banki have completely lost their means of livelihoods. Few months back, Banki was a ghost town.”
The UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP’s regional Director for Africa, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa commissioned the constructed buildings for Customs and Immigration services, a reconstructed Police Station and Barracks to enhance the restoration of the civil authorities in Banki.
Ms. Ahunna said, restoration of livelihoods and commercial activities across the border communities gives her joy, and assured their support to the Borno State Government towards bringing peace.
The UN Assistant Secretary General commended Governor Babagana Umara Zulum for his leadership and commitment in efforts to restore normalcy.
“I see hope in the faces of the people who are here. I see hope rekindled, I see energy and interest, and motivation to restart their lives.
“This gives me alot of joy, because development does not come from outside, it comes from within. I want to salute the Governor here for his leadership in supporting the restoration of hope and livelihood for this community.
“We are very proud to be supporting and coming behind the Governor to make life better and bring back hope to this community. We look foward to the next stage of the stabilization programme, and hope that we will really help end insurgency and bring peace to Borno State.”
Source: Voice of Nigeria