The Chief of Staff for President Muhammadu Buhari, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, officially opened 804 homes for the internally displaced members of the Ngarannam community and its neighbouring villages on Saturday in Mafa Town, Borno State.
Despite the fact that the housing estate project calls for 804 homes, 564 of them were finished and prepared for inauguration.
The 804 houses were jointly built by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Borno State Government where the state government is expected to build 304 houses from which 204 houses were completed with 100 houses ongoing, while the UNDP built the 500 units of houses funded through a Regional Stabilization Facility (RSF) from which 360 were completed while 140 were ongoing.
The UNDP’s housing estate, designed with a health centre, police post, school and market, was for the resettlement of Ngarannam community, while Borno’s houses are for resettlement of a number of villages neighboring Ngarannam.
From both projects, a total of 564 houses were completed out of the combined 804 targeted by Borno Government and the UNDP.
The UNDP had, in July 2019, developed a Regional Stabilization Facility (RSF) with support from Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom (UK), the Netherlands and the European Union (EU).
The RSF was created to facilitate the implementation of a Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery & Resilience of areas affected by Boko Haram attacks around the Lake Chad Basin made up of communities in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, and Chad. The RSF contributes towards the restoration of security and relief to communities affected by Boko Haram insurgency.
Recalled that Ngarannam community in Mafa was attacked and destroyed by Boko Haram some years back, forcing community members to become displaced.
With the reconstruction of the community, a ceremony was hosted by Governor Zulum at the site of the UNDP’s houses in Mafa, for the commissioning.
Gambari was the special guest of honour while Nigeria’s Minister of State for Budget and National Development, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, was the guest of honour. Agba co-chairs Nigeria’s window of the Regional Stabilization Facility (RSF).
The ceremony, held amidst indigenous cultural performances and celebrations, was attended by the Deputy Governor of neighboring Yobe State, Idi Barde Gubana, Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), Amb. Mamman Nuhu, UNDP’s resident representative in Nigeria, Mohamed Yahya, and representatives of ECOWAS, the European Union, and embassies of Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, among other development partners.
National and State Assembly members and candidates from Borno State, the Shehu of Dikwa, party leaders and chieftains, commissioners, advisers and assistants, heads of government establishments and other senior government officials from Borno were in attendance.
Goodwill messages in solidarity with the people of Borno State in support of the projects and benefiting communities were delivered by Alhaji Idi Barde Gubana, Deputy Governor, Yobe State, Borno’s First Lady, Dr Falmata Babagana Zulum, Mr Ayindé Soulé-Kohndon – First Secretary ECOWAS/Lake Chad, Embassy of the Netherlands, Mr Jöran Bjallerstedt – Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden, Mrs Cécile Tassin-Pelzer – Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation and Amb. Annett Gunther of Germany.
Other goodwill messages came from Amb. Mamman Nuhu – E.S of LCBC, Borno’s Commissioner of Police, Abdu Umar, who represented the Inspector General of Police, and Major General Christopher Musa – The Theatre Commander (TC) Joint Task Force North East Operation HADIN KAI (OPHK).
At the earliest stage of the ceremony, welcome address was delivered by Borno’s Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Engr. Mustapha Gubio who was represented by AbdulRahman AbdulKarim, Special Adviser to Governor Zulum on reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement.
Guest of honour, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, later in his remarks, praised all stakeholders who contributed towards the reconstruction of the Ngarannam community.
He highlighted Governor Zulum’s extreme commitment and reaffirmed the FG’s commitment to stabilizing the northeast through multiple opportunities.
Chief Host, Governor Zulum said Borno was highly indebted to the UN and other humanitarian and development partners for their enormous support.
The governor praised UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, who had visited Borno in May, 2022, as part of his relentless support for Borno’s stabilization.
Special Guest of Honour, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, conveyed the president’s gratitude to all humanitarian and development partners.
He said Buhari’s administration would continue to provide the needed support to the government of Borno, rest of the northeast to fully stabilize the northeast.
Gambari, accompanied by Zulum, Agba and foreign development partners, commissioned all the houses at both the UNDP’s site and Borno Government’s.
Keys to the houses were symbolically given to some families amongst the beneficiaries.