Insurgency caused $9bn damage in Northeast — Shettima
Vice President Kashim Shettima lamented on Saturday in Maiduguri that the Boko Haram insurgency had inflicted damage worth $9 billion on the Northeast.
According to a statement by Olusola Abiola, the Director of Information at the Office of the Vice President, Shettima stated this while inaugurating the distribution of palliatives in the North East.
He also performed the official groundbreaking for the construction of the 22.5km Jere Bowl road network project, covering Jere and Mafa LGAs in Borno, being undertaken by the North East Development Commission (NEDC).
The event coincided with the 8th meeting of the North East Governors Forum (NEGF).
According to the Vice President, Borno alone had damages worth $6.8 billion.
He said: “Boko Haram insurgency had inflicted damages in the northeast to the tune of $9 billion. There are similar destructions across Adamawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, and Taraba. If the Northeast of Nigeria were to be treated as a nation, we are poorer than Chad, Afghanistan, and Niger.”
Shettima further said: “I want to urge the NEDC board to expand the scope of its intervention to cover more road projects across the northeast region, including Gombe-Bauchi, Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu, and Gujiba-Biu roads, among many others.
“Though these roads are regarded as Trunk A roads, they will eventually be used by Nigerians, particularly the people of the Northeast.”
Shettima commended the NEDC board for its prudent management of resources and lauded the support of political leaders, including legislators from the region, for the commission.
The Vice President also commended the efforts of governors, saying: “The Northeast is a kaleidoscope of colours, made up of different people from different socio-political backgrounds.
“But I want to commend our governors for coalescing these units into a single force, irrespective of the differences in political and other backgrounds.”
On the distribution of palliatives worth N15 billion to beneficiaries in 110 LGAs and 18 senatorial districts across the region, Shettima reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to the welfare of the people.
The items to be distributed to beneficiaries across the zone include mats, a variety of clothing materials for women and children, blankets, rice, and vegetable oil, among others.
Shettima also commended security agencies for the progress made in the ongoing fight against insurgency. He called for an intensification of efforts to eliminate the remnants of fighters hiding in enclaves in the region.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of NEDC, Alhaji Mohammed Alkali, disclosed that the first phase of construction of the Jere Bowl road network was among other infrastructure projects undertaken by the commission across the region.
Alkali said the commission would key into the present administration’s transport initiative by partnering with the states to deploy affordable, energy-efficient electric and CNG-fueled vehicles.
“Indeed, we will factor our activities into the Renewed Hope Agenda initiatives for agricultural value chains, food security, energy, industrialisation, and human capital development,” Alkali said.
In attendance at the NEGF meeting were governors Bala Mohammed, Mai Mala Buni, and Ahmadu Fintiri, respectively, of Bauchi, Yobe, and Adamawa states.
Also present were deputy governors Karim Iliyasu and Manassah Jatau of Taraba and Gombe states, as well as members of the National Assembly, among others.