The Governor of Borno state, Kashim Shettima, on Thursday received a delegation from the Danish refugee council in his Bama office where he relocated to on Wednesday.
Governor Shettima had said that he temporarily moved his office 75km away from Maiduguri, the state capital, in order to monitor the ongoing reconstruction of the town that was completely destroyed by Boko Haram.
On Thursday, Mr. Shettima hosted a six-member delegation from the Danish Refugee Council in Bama to discussion a partnership strategy with the state in ongoing reconstruction works.
The Country Director of the Danish Refugee Council in Nigeria, Shah Liton, had to fly into Bama in a helicopter that conveyed them from Maiduguri to meet the governor.
“The Governor had said any meeting requiring his presence would only be held in Bama town unless where he is summoned by the Presidency or where unforeseen emergencies come up,” Isa Gusau, the governor’s spokesperson, said.
The visiting Danish Group met Mr. Shettima at the 21 Armoured Brigade reception tent in Bama.
The delegation, amongst others, offered to assist Nigeria by removing mines planted by insurgents in farmlands in order to encourage the returnee IDPs resume their farm works.
The Danish delegation said they were impressed with the way the returnees were trying to settle down despite what they went through.
“We have seen serious destructions here in Bama, we also know that as people prepare to return they will be concerned about going back to means of livelihood one of which is their farms”, said the Danish official.
“We will offer to bring specialists to remove mines planted in those farms to make it possible for people to use the farms. We will also want to know your other priorities so as to know where to intervene”, the Danish group told Mr. Shettima.
Mr. Shettima informed the visitors that his government would prefer a cashless intervention that would come in the form of building materials, reconstruction of schools, intervention on agriculture to create jobs and gender empowerment with particular interest in educating and economic empowerment of women.
The governor informed the visitors that Boko Haram insurgents had destroyed virtually all the primary schools, thousands of private houses, municipal buildings, clinics, markets and water installations.
Earlier in the day, he inspected series of destroyed areas and some ongoing reconstruction works in parts of Bama town.
He said he will focus on rebuilding schools, healthcare institutions, water installations and some private homes under the first phase.