By Rabiu Saniali
The Federal Government has embarked on an assessment of communities liberated in the counter-insurgency operations in Borno, to facilitate re-constitution of civil authorities in the affected areas.
Alhaji Mustapha Maihaja, the Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), told the Presidential Committee for North-East Initiative which visited some liberated areas in Borno on Saturday.
Maihaja said that the exercise was designed to enable the government appraise the situation to facilitate deployment of Police and para-military personnel, to maintain law and order.
“The Federal Government designed a scheme, named ‘Bama Initiative’, whereby civil authorities, social services such as health and education will be restored.
“We are currently doing an assessment of the situation and in a couple of weeks, precisely in September, we expect to have semblance of civil authorities in the liberated areas,” he said.
Maihaja said that the committee had so far visited Banki, Kumshe, Bama and other liberated areas in the state.
He said the Federal Government in collaboration with the state government and donor agencies, had recorded significant progress in the reconstruction and rehabilitation programmes in the affected communities.
“The Borno Government has completed over 75 per cent of reconstruction works in Bama. Similar projects are on-going in many areas to make them habitable.
“We need houses, schools, hospitals and other amenities.
“All structures; residential homes, markets and public buildings were destroyed by the insurgents.
“The work is massive in view of the high scale vandalism by the insurgents,’’ he said.
The D-G said that plans were underway to expand the scope of the Federal Government’s Agriculture Support Programme to capture displaced persons, to enable them engage in agriculture and other productive activities.
He said the measure was imperative to empower the people economically and to encourage rapid growth of social and economic activities in the North-East region.
He said that NEMA was responding promptly to humanitarian crisis in the region and had initiated sound programmes to meet the needs of the displaced families.
“Our major concern is the growing number of displaced persons returning from neighbouring countries. You do not know when and how they are coming,’’ Maihaja said.
According to him, more than 1.8 million people were displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East region.
He said that the Federal Government had commenced distribution of 40,905 tonnes of food and non-food items to displaced persons in Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Taraba and Yobe States. (NAN)