Borno IDPs Begin Mass Production Of Household Products

Borno IDP's Begin Mass Production Household ProductsSome Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from Gwoza local government area of Borno state, have begun large scale production and packaging of various household products.

The products include solid and liquid soap, detergents, pomade, hand bags courtesy of a loan allocated to them by the Borno Renaissance Micro Finance Bank, set up by Governor Kashim Shettima to promote entrepreneurship in the state.

In 2016, Governor Shettima had after examining their proposal, directed the Micro Finance Bank to release the sum of N5m to a group of 91 male and female citizens displaced from Gwoza LGA, who were living within some camps in Maiduguri.

The group had registered with the state as Gwoza Soap Makers Association, a cooperative desiring to go into mass production of household items.

In fulfillment of their pledge, after days of hard work, representatives of the IDPs marched to the Government House, Maiduguri, with samples of household products produced and packaged by them.

They named all their products, ‘G.Z. Hijira’. The ‘G.Z’ represents Gwoza, their town, while Hijira refers to a ‘temporary relocation’ which in their case, represents their Internal displacement.

The IDPs told Governor Shettima that they want their locally produced items to capture the memory of their displacement and relocation to Maiduguri as a result of attacks on their communities in Gwoza by Boko Haram insurgents in 2014.

“For a start, we have used part of the funds and produced 118 cartons of solid laundry soap; 86 cartons of small size pomades, 96 cartons of large size of pomade; 200 jerrycans of large and small packs of liquid soap; 1,972 kitchen sized packs of liquid soap, disinfectants and 127 numbers of women and unisex hand bags.

“We will be going into bigger scale production but we came to show you what we have started doing since you created this opportunity for us by encouraging us and getting us the money” leader of the IDPs, Musa Ali Gwoza, told Shettima.

Impressed by what he saw, the governor ‎immediately said that after their products are certified by control agencies, they would become major features in public hospitals, schools and other Government establishments so as to increase their capacity and the economy of the state and to encourage other IDPs and residents to become productive.

“You have just made my day. This is the kind of progress I love to see. You are all internally displaced persons but rather than fold your arms and wait for aide, you chose to be productive using your talents.

“I encouraged you because you deserve it. I don’t know if you have gotten products certificates but I can see you are already packaging. By the grace of God, after agencies like NAFDAC and the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), certify your products, we will arrange for a public presentation of your products.

“I will lead the launching and the Borno State Government will make you primary suppliers of soap, detergents and disinfectants in most of our hospitals, schools and other Government establishment including this Government House so that you create jobs for others that will market and sell your products.

“I will take some of your products like these detergents and test for sanitation purpose in my office. We will try to get you some machinery that will make you produce faster and in higher numbers. I believe you are using crude methods now.

“You deserve encouragement. I want to mainly make you serve as role models to other citizens whether displaced or not,” Shettima said.

Rann Bombing: 54 Victims In Stable Condition, Government Official Says

Rann bombing, accidental bombing
Photo Credit: Reuters

Fifty-four victims of the Nigerian Air Force accidental bombing in Rann, Kala-Balge Local Council of Borno State are in stable conditions at different hospitals where they are receiving treatment, a government official said on Wednesday.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia, told reporters that the victims were receiving treatment at three hospitals located in Maiduguri.

Giving a breakdown of the locations of the 54 victims, Dr. Mshelia said ‎32 persons were receiving treatment at the State Specialist Hospital; 16 were being treated at Seven Division Military Hospital in Maimalari Barracks while six persons are hospitalised at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

The Commissioner said all the 54 hospitalised victims were in stable conditions, with medical experts from the State, humanitarian partners and the military attending to their health needs.

“It is still too early to give an accurate number of deaths because as at the time of issuing the update, evacuation of survivors is still ongoing with four helicopters provided by the United Nations and the Nigerian Air Force airlifting the victims,” he said.

Dr. Mshelia also told reporters that bodies were still being recovered.

The Commissioner said humanitarian partners like the MSF, International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the United Nations and different stakeholders have been extremely dedicated to the emergency evacuation and medical response.

Meanwhile Governor Kashim Shettima has since morning deployed his Deputy, Usman Mamman Durkwa and the House of Representatives member, representing Kala-Balge, Bama, Dikwa and Ngala Federal Constituency of Borno State, Mamman Nur Sheriff among other officials to the scene of the incident at Rann, Headquarters of Kala-Balge Local Government Area in order to assess the situation and supervise evacuation of victims to Maiduguri.

The State Ministry of Health has already put in place an emergency medical response team to coordinate rehabilitation of victims, the statement said.

After the bombing, the military said it was a regrettable mistake.

The spokesman for the military Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, confirmed the incident to Channels Television.

He explained that that it was an error deeply regretted by the military.

The military spokesman said the incident did not occur in an Internally Displaced Persons’ camp, as being reported by in some quarters but a settlement said to be occupied by civilians.

Brigadier General Abubakar explained that soldiers got information of movement of Boko Haram members in the Kala-balge area and deployed ground troops and air cover to tackle the terrorists.

According to him, it was the air support that mistakenly dropped the bomb.

Accidental Bombing: Governor Shettima Orders Emergency Medical Response

Air ForceThe government of Borno State has ordered the State Ministry of Health to set up an emergency with all medical hospitals under the State following accidental bombing of a settlement in Rann in Kala-Balge Local Government Area.

Air Force jet had bombed the location, killing unidentified number of persons in counter-insurgency operation. It said it got a tip-off that fleeing Boko Haram members had settled somewhere within the location.

After the accidental bombing, government hospitals located in Maiduguri which include the State Specialist Hospital, the Professor Umaru Shehu Hospital and General Muhammad Shuwa memorial hospital, were placed on standby in readiness to carry out emergency treatment.

Evacuation Of Victims

Isa Gusau, a spokesman for Governor Kashim Shettima, said in a statement emailed to reporters, that Governor Shettima received the news with very deep concern while he had channeled his focus on ensuring that all the victims, particularly those with severe injuries were provided with urgent medical treatment.

“As at this evening, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent have deployed a helicopter which is on ground at Rann to begin evacuation of victims, starting with those with the most critical health conditions.

“The MSF (Doctors without border) and other officials of the State Government are been first responders.

“Governor Shettima particularly commends the MSF for its rapid response in providing first aid treatment to victims at the scene,” the statement read.

Mr Gusau stated that Governor Shettima was working to ensure that ‎all victims were evacuated as soon as possible.

He said that the State Commissioner of Health had mobilised medical doctors, nurses, lab technicians, pharmacists ‎and other health officials in all hospitals owned by Borno State Government while ambulances have also been deployed.

“The medical experts are currently on standby with emergency consumables set for treatment of victims soon as they arrive Maiduguri.

“Casualty figures are yet to be ascertained but from information available to the Governor, there are records of deaths with many persons injured.

“The Governor’s heart is with families of all those affected and urges citizens to pray for the repose of the souls of those dead and the speedy recovery of the injured.

“Governor Shettima looks forward to formal communication from the military to ascertain what happened and would brief the press should there be the need to do so.

“For now, all focus should be on the evacuation of victims and the provision of emergency medical services to them with the hope that they quickly recover,” the statement added.

The Nigerian Air Force has issued a statement, saying it regrets the accidental air strike by its troops in the settlement in northeast Nigeria.

In the statement by Group Captain Ayodele Famuyiwa, the force condoled with the families of the dead, stressing that the ill-fated occurrence was extremely regretted.

President Muhammadu Buhari had also consoled families of affected victims, assuring them of the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring that they get adequate medical care.