Boko Haram: Private fund group flags-off N1.6 billion road reconstruction project in Borno

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The Victims Support Fund (VSF) on Thursday flagged-off a N1.6 billion reconstruction project in three communities destroyed by Boko Haram in Borno State.

The three communities are in Gwoza, Mobba and Ngala local governments.

Officials of the Borno State Government, led by Governor Kashim Shettima, were in the war wrecked town of Gwoza, headquarters of Gwoza Local Government Area, where the flag off ceremony was held.

The vice chairman of the Victims Support Fund (VSF), Tijjani Tumsa, handed over the trucks of building materials to the Borno governor.

Mr Tumsa, representing the VSF Chairman, Theophilus Danjumma, said the reconstruction of the three local government headquarters “is fully funded by VSF.”

He pointed out that the actual rebuilding aspect “will be executed by the Borno State Government through the Borno State Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RRR).

Mr Tumsah said the VSF is committed to supporting victims of the devastations of the Boko Haram insurgency.

“The VSF is optimistic that the reconstruction project in three LGAs will help to further restore governance institutions while restoring life to normalcy for the people.”

He noted further that by the completion of this project, VSF would have carried out reconstruction in nine local governments in Borno State.

And these local governments, comprising Dikwa, Bama, Chibok, Damboa, Askira Uba, Hawul, Gwoza, Mobbar and Ngala are spread in the three senatorial zones of the state.

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The Executive Director of VSF, Sunday Ochoche, explained in an earlier remark that “the project budget of N1.6 billion would cover building materials and labour costs for the construction of schools, hospitals, hostels, staff quarters and the local government secretariats of Gwoza, Mobbar and Ngala Local Government Areas respectively.

He recalled that “VSF had on previous occasions worked with the Borno State Government and was positive that the structures would be reconstructed to the highest standards”

Governor Shettima, who was accompanied by the senator representing Borno South, Muhammed Ndume, thanked the federal government for supporting his state through the VSF.

“We thank our dear president, Muhammadu Buhari, for his unwavering support and love for the people of Borno which is demonstrated not only through the deployment of military that has degraded Boko Haram insurgents but also for the construction of our liberated communities through the VSF and PCNI under the able leadership of our respected elder statesman, General Theophilus Danjumma,” said Mr Shettima.

He promised that the state government would ensure that the funds would be utilised judiciously to provide befitting public infrastructure for the ravaged communities.

The highlight of the occasion in Gwoza was the handing over of the reconstruction material to the Borno State Government by the VSF.

According to a World Bank validated report on the Post Insurgency Recovery and Peace Building Assessment prepared by Borno State Government, of the over 3.2 million private houses in the state, a total of 956,453 houses, which represents 30 per cent were destroyed by Boko Haram.

The three towns of Mobbar, Ngala and Gwoza were amongst the worst hit local government headquarters with over 80 per cent of the buildings, including public structures destroyed.

The report indicated that about 420 classrooms of the 72 schools in Gwoza had been destroyed by Boko Haram.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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