The Federal Government would soon start the implementation of a comprehensive rebuilding plan for the North-east areas of Nigeria that were ravaged in recent years of Boko Haram terrorist-insurgency.
According to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, who presided over a government-wide meeting that included the Governor of Borno State, federal ministers and service chiefs “the plan is a very clear, we all know what direction we should be headed,” regarding the reconstruction of the North-east.
While the whole region is intended to be covered eventually, the plan opens with Bama Local Government including several towns in an initiative that would lead to the construction of 3000 new homes, 10 police stations, 18 primary and secondary schools, health centers, creation of Special Bama Squad for security and the recruitment of 1500 local hunters as Agro Rangers, among others.
Under what has been termed as the Bama Initiative, the Federal Government will contribute 67% of the funding, while Borno State would provide the balance 33%. “It is a partnership that is certainly going to work,” according to Governor Kashim Shettima.
Prof. Osinbajo chaired the meeting attended by the Ministers of Defence; Rtd. General Mansur Dan-Ali, Interior; Rtd General Abdourahman Dambazau, the Budget & National Planning (of State); Zainab Ahmed and the Power, Works & Housing (of State); Alhaji Mustapha Baba Shehuri.
Other top government functionaries included the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, the National Security Adviser to the President Rtd. General Baba Munguno, as well as military, police and civil defence chiefs, and the Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA.)
Under the Bama Initiative, covering towns such Bama, Banki, Gulumba Gara and others, the Federal Government in partnership with the Borno State government is expected to carry out actual re-construction of houses for the return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as well as provide infrastructure such as roads for Bama town and adjoining communities.
The Initiative will also see to the kitting and deployment of thousands of police officers and officers of the National Security, Civil Defence Corps who are expected to be trained for the special task.
Equally, 20 doctors, 100 nurses and other relevant health officers are to be recruited to provide essential health services for the town, in addition to employment of teachers who will be deployed to 18 new schools to be constructed in the areas.
Road re-construction projects are also featured under the Bama Initiative which is now under exploration, including the re-habilitation of Maiduguri-Bama-Daral Jamal-Banki road network.
The welfare of returnees is also a major priority of the plan, ensuring a comprehensive support programme for IDPs as they return. It is expected that the implementation of the plan will kick-off in weeks.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President