The Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission has donated $1.4 million to the Borno State government, as part of its contribution towards assisting the victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.
The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Marcel De Souza, led other top officials of the Western Africa umbrella body handed over two separate cheques to the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima.
According to Mr Souza, one million dollars came from ECOWAS reserves while the second cheque of $400, 000 was from the Federation of the International Red Cross Community.
He said they were in Borno State to share the feelings and concerns of the Internally Displaced Persons and refugees in Nigeria.
The ECOWAS Commission President further explained that ECOWAS was concerned about happenings in northeast Nigeria, even as he said he was impressed with the manner the state government was able to carry on with developmental programmes despite the huge security challenges facing the state.
“We have heard reports of how the markets, the schools and public infrastructures were burnt and we are here seeing how you have been tackling the challenges in phases, which is quite commendable and we are congratulating you for that exemplary steps,” Mr Souza stated
Support And Solidarity
He had earlier met with some officials of the United Nations, as well as the officers of the National Emergency Management Agencies who had given him some insights and data of the humanitarian situation in the state.
“It was on that note that we have come to contribute our own support and solidarity and we are fully backing you in all your programmes going forward. And we may not be able to reach the entire four million people of the state, but we will support you in such significant manner to see that you touch the lives of the people positively,” he told reporters.
He was accompanied by the Director General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Muhammad Sidi, who handed over food items and building materials including to complement the rebuilding effort of the Borno State government in the ongoing reconstruction of affected towns.
Governor Shettima expressed his personal appreciation and that of the state government to ECOWAS for the cash and food support presented to the state.
He also thanked NEMA for its generosity to the state.
“We thank you most sincerely for your kind gesture for assisting our communities that are in distress. The large quantum of food items donated would go a long way in alleviating the food security problems facing the state.
“As for the one million dollars you have contributed, I do not want the money to pass through our hands. I will rather give it to NEMA to help us buy food stuff. We have the Maiduguri flour mill here which can process maize into flour for proper human consumption.
“The one million dollars would go a long way in feeding our people especially those living within the host communities,” Governor Shettima told ECOWAS representatives.
The building materials donated by NEMA include 2,600 bundles of Roofing sheet, 2,500 piece ceiling boards, 350 bags of 3″nails and 350 packets of zinc nails to be dispatched to Bama, Hawul and Gamboru Ngala for rebuilding.
Other items include 3,600 bags of rice, 1,400 bags of bean, 1,000 bags of millet.Over two million persons have been displaced in the northeast region of Nigeria, with over six million devastated in the region.
A United Nation’s agency, UNICEF has called for aid to come in form of nutritious food to save over 75,000 children, pregnant women and nursing mothers that it said may die before the end of the year if no aid came.