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Boko Haram: Switzerland Boosts Northeast Rehabilitation Efforts With $8m

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SAN FRANCISCO, August 24, (THEWILL) – Rehabilitation and reconstruction plan for Boko Haram ravaged North-east got a boost Monday with the offer of $8m from Switzerland to assist the efforts of the states in the region.

The Charge de Affairs and acting Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Daniel Cavegn, who made the offer in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, said the gesture was informed by the unimaginable devastation of the region by the insurgents.

The envoy, who was accompanied to Maiduguri by the Political Adviser of the Swiss Embassy in Nigeria, also disclosed that Switzerland was ready to partner in agriculture in order to create job opportunities for the teeming youths of the Northeast.

Cavegn , who said the key to ending the insurgency is job creation and improved economy of the zone, promised that his home government will assist in this regards.

He said Switzerland was ready to increase the aids to the troubled region as the need may arise even as he noted that Switzerland had always been involved in humanitarian efforts in the zone through renowned global agencies even before now.

In his response to the gesture, the Borno State governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, expressed gratitude to the Swiss Government, saying the state was in dire need of aids from all quarters.

The governor, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa, said: “Considering the situation in which we found ourselves and the meagre resources at our disposal, there is the need for foreign partners and international organisations to come to the aid of the state especially in the reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of the destroyed communities.

“Infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, electrical facilities, public and private residential houses, water facilities, telecommunication facilities, Army and Police barracks and many more have been completely destroyed and require reconstruction and replacements.

“These are beyond the resources of the state and even the Federal Government of Nigeria. We therefore require the assistance of countries such as Switzerland and others to reintegrate and resettle the people into their former abode and domiciles.”

According to Shettima, Borno state is richly endowed with fertile land suitable for agricultural activities, which also allow for many crops to be grown in commercial quantity to support processing and manufacturing companies.

He added that the state was endowed with minerals such as manganese, felspar, kaolin, uranium, gypsum, limestone, river sand among others, as

he appealed to Switzerland to assist in the reconstruction and resettlement of the destroyed communities, and in recharging of Lake Chad by transferring water from River Congo with partnership of the Lake Chad Basin Commission countries.