By Enyichukwu Enemanna
Terror organisations in Northeastern Nigeria, particularly ISWAP-backed Boko Haram, has inflicted a damage with a monetary value not less than $9billion, the country’s Vice President, Kashim Shettima who was a Governor of Borno State, the once epicenter of terror activities, has stated.
“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 Northeast of Nigeria was to be treated as a nation, we are poorer than Chad, Afghanistan, Niger,” Director, Information, Office of the Vice President, Mr Olusola Abiola quoted Shettima as saying during the flag-off of the distribution of palliatives to the victims on insurgency attacks in the North-East region of the country.
Vice President Shettima during his visit in the insurgency-ravaged region also performed the official groundbreaking for the construction of the 22.5km Jere Bowl road network project, covering Jere and Mafa LGAs, in Borno, undertaken by a regional intervention agency, North-East Development Commission (NEDC), an event which coincided with the 8th meeting of the North-East Governors’ Forum.
Borno State alone had incurred damages worth $6.8 billion, the Vice President had posited.
He added: ” 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 stated.
He commended the NEDC board for its prudent management of resources, and lauded the support of political leaders, including legislators from the north east region, for standing firm with the commission.
The vice president also commended the efforts of governors across the region for uniting the people in spite of their socio-political differences.
Shettima said: ”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 includes; mats, variety of clothing materials for women and children, blankets, rice and vegetable oil, among others.