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Governor begs for extension, as insecurity disrupts EU projects in Nigeria’s Northeast

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From Wim Dogara, Maiduguri

Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State has pleaded with the European Union (EU) and other implementing partners to complete projects affected by the subsisting insecurity in Nigeria’s Northeast.
He also noted that the COVID-19 global shutdown had negatively affected economic activities in Borno State, the Northeast and the entire country.

 

Zulum made the plea during an EU steering committee meeting held in Abuja in which he urged the EU and implementing partners to ensure all resources earmarked for development in Borno were directly spent in the state.

“I’m appealing to the EU to grant us extensions for the implementation partners to complete their projects sited across the state. This is to complement the efforts of the state government in resettling displaced persons (IDPs) and ensuring total annihilation of Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.
Development partners, especially the EU, play pivotal role in providing humanitarian relief to traumatised citizens in Nigeria’s Northeast region.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s government had, few years ago, asked Nigeria’s global partners, donor and development agencies, including the World Bank and the World Health Organisation (WHO), to focus their project interventions on the Northeast region being ravaged by the now widening activities of the Boko Haram sect.

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Borno State’s Commissioner in charge of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Mustapha Gubio, reiterated the need for the EU to support the government’s policy on information gathering and management through its newly-created website and data centre.
A ray of hope came when the European Union’s Head of Cooperation in Nigeria, Mrs. Cecile Tassin-Pelzer gave the assurance that the matter would be resolved and promised that the EU would continue to work with Borno State to rebuild and resettle destroyed communities and displaced persons in the state and the Northeast subregion.
“We’re committed in supporting Nigeria address her challenges,” she says.
According to Tassin-Pelzer, the
EU would look at no-cost-extension request to approve or justify the need for extension.

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The implementation partners, however, called on Borno State Government to work hard at improving the security architecture and enhancing access to project sites and other extensions with a view to completing its activities in the state.
Some partners of the EU in the projects disclosed that the duration of the extension period would be worked out at a later date once the extension request is approved.

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