By Bode Olushegun
The United Kingdom on Tuesday pledged to support the Borno State’s 25-year development plan.
Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, had on November 14, 2020 launched a 25-year development plan for the state in order to rebuild the destruction by Boko Haram and bring the troubled state back on track.
The government of the United Kingdom on Tuesday, while commending the Plan, pledged to support the state in some areas under the implementation stage.
Speaking in Maiduguri during his visit, a Special Envoy from the UK’s foreign affairs minister, Mr Nicholas Dyer, said: “We are particularly pleased to see the Governor has launched his 25 year development plan for the state, because having this type of vision in terms of how to move from the situation of where we are now with deep humanitarian challenge and insurgency to a situation where we can support people’s livelihood and long term development is what we all want to see happened.“
He added that: “I am particularly interested today to see the fact on ground, we hear a lot about North East Nigeria, and I have come today to visit few of the IDPs camp and to have a conversation with His Excellency the state Governor to see what the facts are on the ground and to see how the UK government can support the state of its vision and how we can improve development and delivery of assistance we are providing.”
Nicholas was accompanied by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Liang and some few officials of the High Commission.
Responding, Governor Babagana Zulum expressed appreciation to the government of UK for its continuous humanitarian and technical support to the North East.
The Governor cited factors that included lack of job opportunities, hunger and illiteracy as the root causes of the insurgency which he said required long and sustainable solution to address.
Zulum while appreciating the tremendous humanitarian support from the international partners, however, observed that with the increased agitation by the IDPs to return home, there was need for the stabilisation as well as the recovery efforts carried out simultaneously.
The Governor also noted that continous dependence on hand outs from the international partners was not sustainable, noting that many IDPs were now returning to safe areas to pick up the pieces of their livelihoods.