Boko Haram cost North East $9.2bn – Shettima
Governor Kassim Shettima of Borno State has said that the Northeast lost $9.2 billion worth of properties with Borno State alone suffering a loss of $6.6 billion in the wake of wanton destruction of properties by insurgents, Boko Haram.
He said this on Wednesday in Abuja, when he led a delegation of Northeast leaders to express appreciation to the leadership and members of the 8th National Assembly, for passing the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) Bill.
The Governor said the destruction ranged from municipal buildings to healthcare centres, Schools, Police Stations and power installation equipment.
Shettima said the NEDC would provide the legal framework that could help accelerate the process of reconstructing and rehabilitating situations in the region, pointing out that it could take up to 40 years to totally repair the damage.
He said even before the advent of Boko Haram, the Northeast had the worst Human Development Index in the country, recording the worst form of neglect from successive governments.
While thanking the lawmakers, he said once the commission came on board, there will be fairness in distribution of resources.
On the delegation was elder statesman, Profesor Jubril Aminu, Traditional Rulers, youths and students’ council, among others.
Receiving the visitors, Chairman, Senate Northeast Caucus, Dajuma Goje said he was optimistic that the NEDC would work.
On his part, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, said he believed a lot more still needed to be done, particularly, in terms of appropriation.
On the necessity of the NEDC, Dogara said it was imperative to address the challenge of underdevelopment in the region and to source funds outside the government coffers, adding that it was expedient to create a commission with legal backing.
He said the argument that NEDC would fail because a similar commission for Niger-Delta has not lived up to billing is a “travesty”, stressing that the future of the Northeast should not be judged by the experiences of others.
Senate President, Bukola Saraki, demanded assurances from stakeholders at the meeting that, it would not be business as usual, once the commission is established.
According to him, it would be very unfortunate for the National Assembly to be inundated with petitions and probes of activities of the commission, at its commencement.