Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno on Tuesday inaugurated 10 public facilities reconstructed by the Victims Support Fund (VSF) Committee in Bama Local Government Area of the state.
Shettima said that VSF, by reconstructing the public institutions in the affected communities, demonstrated commitment toward the rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement of people of the North-East.
According to him, the reconstruction of public institutions and rehabilitation victims of the insurgency will be extended to other affected local governments.
He explained that the reconstruction work started from Kaga Local Government Area in the northern part of the state, where numerous private and public infrastructures were restored.
”We are currently working in 14 local government Areas but there is special emphasis on Bama, Damasek and Gwoza.
”Bama has the highest attention going by the post-insurgency recovery and peace building assessment report jointly conducted by the World bank, European Union, the presidency and the state government.
“Bama has been adjudged the worst-hit community by Boko Haram. More than 80 per cent of public and private institutions were destroyed.
“Boko Haram occupied Gwoza but they didn’t destroy Gwoza as much as they destroyed Bama.
”Our idea of facing Bama is to confront the most difficult challenge in a bold manner, so that our task becomes less.”
The governor identified Mobbar Local Government, where so much resource had already been deployed, as the next to witness the rebuilding of damaged infrastructure.
He said that the goal of his administration was for the victims of insurgency to return to their communities before the beginning of Ramadan.
He, however, expressed regret that it was not feasible due to the ongoing mop-up exercise by the military in Sambisa Forest, aimed at ensuring adequate security, to guarantee the safety of the people.
Shettima commended the Chairman of the VSF Committee, Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd.) for his commitment and prudent management of resources for the reconstruction of the North-East.
He also applauded the Executive Director of VSF, Dr Sunday Ochoche, saying that his hard work led to the successful completion of the projects in Bama within a few months.
Shettima also appreciated the contributions of Dangote Foundation and other implementing partners, and donors for redeeming their pledges to the VSF.
Similarly, he thanked the military for doing a good job in liberating the state and the victims for their resilience.
Also speaking, Danjuma said that VSF commitment to the support, rehabilitation and resettlement of the victims of insurgency was evident in Borno State.
Danjuma, who was represented by the Vice Chairman of the Committe, Alhaji Tijjani Tumsah, said that the projects demonstrate VSF commitment to partner with the government and people of Borno State.
The Chairman commended the government and people of the state for their resilience and assured the governor of the committee’s continued support and partnership to ensure the completion of the projects.
In his remark, Ochoche said that the event was a clear manifestation of effective partnership and collaboration between the VSF and the state government.
Ocheche said that the VSF had significantly scaled up its interventions in the areas of education, health, women empowerment, foster care for the unaccompanied or orphaned children as well as the agro-based programme.
According to him, the determination to rebuild public infrastructures is to facilitate the return of local governance.
He explained that this would also encourage the quick return of members of the community who were expecting the restoration of effective local governance before they return.
The newly reconstructed public infrastructure include the local government secretariat, eight primary schools comprising the renovation of 42 blocks of classrooms, and 42 offices.
Four blocks of the classrooms were also newly constructed, including the library, the Bama Cultural Foundation, hospitals, police station, and the Shehu of Bama’s palace.