- Says FG plans more support for North-east
From Mustapha Isah Kwaru, Maiduguri
Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala yesterday declared the federal government’s determination to offer more support for the three North-states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe to restore the means of livelihood of their people, scuttled by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, who doubles as the coordinating minister for the economy, said this while in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, with a team of experts sent by former British Prime Minister and United Nations Special Envoy on Special Education, Mr. Gordon Brown, on tour of schools destroyed by the insurgents as parts of the Save School Initiative programme.
She said the initiative would include upgrading school facilities and restoring means of livelihood of the people, adding that with support from the UN, the federal government was targeting $100 million US dollar.
“I was asked by the president to deliver the Save School Initiative plan to the people and to see the situation as it affect the people. I am happy I saw the situation and glad I visited schools, even seeing some students writing exams. I feel happy I was able to interact with the students.
“The federal government will collaborate with the states affected by the insurgency to upgrade infrastructure. Most schools in Borno are closed now because of this insecurity and that is not good for us,” she said
She commended the Borno government for its efforts in reconstruction and rehabilitation of school classrooms, despite incessant destruction by Boko Haram.
Similarly, the minister alongside Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi, distributed relief materials to over 4000 people displaced through
Boko Haram attacks at an IDPs camp at Yerwa Practice Primary School in the metropolis, and urged the people not to be dismayed.
Representatives of Mr. Brown, Mr. Robert Quick and Dala Masson, said the former UK prime minister was determined to make contributions towards ensuring people in the area return to normal life.
In his remarks, Governor Kashim Shettima, thanked the minister and the Mr. Brown’s team for the visit, saying the visit has further proved the unity and togetherness in Nigeria to address the common enemies of the people, including poverty, unemployment and insecurity.
He said he was impressed by the minister’s disposition for accepting the invitation to join the Gordon Brown team, having invited her on Tuesday.