Borno State governor, Prof Babagana Umara Zulum, alongside humanitarian partners were in Banki, a border town on Thursday, where N84m was distributed to 2,200 families who returned after fleeing from insurgent attacks. The fund is to enable the families engage in trading for their livelihoods and contribute towards reviving Banki’s economy.
During the visit, municipal offices that include immigration, customs and police posts towards restoration of civil authorities, were commissioned.
The livelihood support and municipal office projects were executed by the state government through the UNDP’s regional stabilization facility (RSF).
Zulum’s visit to Banki was alongside the UNDP’s resident coordinator in Nigeria, Mohammed Yahaya, UN resident humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, Edward Kallon, director general for Africa at the German ministry of foreign affairs, Ms. Heike Thiele, Norwegian ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Lein Eliiv, among other partners.
Governor Zulum moved to Banki after a multi stakeholder meeting attended by eight governors within the Lake Chad, officials of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and multi national forces, among others which held in Yaounde, with focus on security cooperation, stability, and economic recovery in the Lake Chad region.
Banki is a commercial town in Bama local Government area, which shares border with Cameroon.
The town was sacked by Boko Haram back in 2014 and Zulum who had been there at different times, has been making efforts to resuscitate the town with hundreds of shelters now built for returnees.
At Thursday’s visit, each of the 2,200 returnee-families received N40,000 to stimulate their local businesses.
Speaking at a brief ceremony, Zulum noted that the support was to help many residents who have completely lost their means of livelihood. He expressed delight that normalcy was fast returning to Banki town.
Zulum said the support aims to indirectly impact on not less than 10,000 dependants of beneficiaries.