Vice President Kashim Shettima says the post-insurgency assessment in the northeast showed that attacks by Boko Haram cost the region $9 billion, out of which Borno State, the epicentre of the insurgency, lost $6.8 billion.
Speaking in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, when he flagged off palliative distribution for states in the region by the North East Development Commission (NEDC) on Saturday, Shettima, a former governor of the state, lamented how several emirs were displaced without any emirate to govern.
The initiative by the NEDC was part of its efforts to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal on people in the region.
Shettima, who also declared the eighth North-East Governors’ Forum meeting open at the Borno State Government House, Maiduguri, said the NEDC was fulfilling its mandate of rehabilitating and resettling victims of the insurgency.
He said: “A lot of our emirs here were emirs without emirate. Ten years ago, the palace that Governor Babagana Zulum calls home was under the control of Boko Haram. 10 years ago, the hometown of the governor of Yobe State was under the grip of Boko Haram. 10 years ago, a chunk of the North-East was under Boko Haram. Maiduguri was effectively encircled apart from Maiduguri/Kano Road that was sporadically attacked by Boko Haram.
“Based on the post insurgency, recovery peace building assessment report of the North-East which was validated by the World Bank, European Union and the Presidency, Boko Haram inflicted damages in the North-East to the tune of $9bn, Borno alone has damages worth $6.8 billion.”
While lamenting the challenges of the region Shettima added, “If the North-East was to be treated as a nation, we are poorer than Chad and Niger. But I want to commend our governors, the PDP Governors’ of Bauchi and Adamawa states are the closest to the governor of Borno.”
Dispelling rumour about the NEDC power play that ushered in the new board, where both the managing director, Mohammed Goni, and the chairman, Paul Tarfa, were reappointed, Shettima noted that the two men earned their reappointments, adding, “They left behind N237bn, which is unprecedented in the contemporary history of governance in Nigeria.”
Goni however said the commission was committed to combating hunger in the 110 Local Government Areas in the region, adding, “Today, we are going to donate food and non-food items which cost about N15bn through the Vice-President to all the state governors, 18 senatorial districts, 48 federal constituencies as well as the six states House of Assembly.”