As governor of the state most affected by the Boko Haram insurgency, Kashim Shettima has the unenviable task of ensuring residents enjoy good governance.
As the military and the civilian vigilante continue to win the war against the insurgents, PREMIUM TIMES reviews the performance of the governor in 2016.
- Security: One of the major success stories of the Borno State government in 2016 was improving security in the state capital, Maiduguri.
The state government has continued to give support to the security agencies while solely funding the activities of the youth vigilante group called Civilian-JTF, who work round the clock to wade off Boko Haram attackers. The government’s efforts in this regard have helped restore normalcy in most parts of the state capital. Night life has since returned to Maiduguri after years of curfew.
- Job creation: The government has been able to create jobs via several initiatives that are targeted towards addressing the insurgency-induced socio-economic problems. Hundreds of youth have engaged in the making of interlocking bricks that are used in landscaping most parts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Hundreds of young men and women are also engaged as street cleaners under the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency (BOSEPA).
- IDPs: – Management of camps for internally displaced persons, IDPs, was initially a challenge for the government in 2016. But the problem later turned out a success with the introduction of house hold feeding system for IDPs.
Governor Shettima has also led an aggressive campaign for support within and outside the country, which made agencies like the Dangote Foundation donate N2 billion in support of IDPs welfare and the reconstruction effort.
The government has also begun the relocation of IDPs back to some of the liberated communities.
- Infrastructure: Another success story for the Borno State government is the completion of the popular Lagos street road and bridge, which was started in Mr. Shettima’s first tenure in 2011.
The completed road has eased traffic gridlock along the route leading to the University of Maiduguri and the teaching hospital.
- Reconstruction of towns and villages: One of the biggest achievements of Borno State government is in the reconstruction of towns and villages destroyed by Boko Haram. The government had in 2016 created the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement that was saddled with the task of rebuilding all public buildings and homes of the displaced persons.
Work has been completed in four villages within Kaga Local Government Area, while those in Bama, Gwoza and Askira Uba and Gamboru-Ngala are ongoing.
- Housing Estate: About two years after a housing estate named after the late deputy governor of Borno State, Zannah Mustapha, was completed and ready for commissioning, it remains uninhabited.
The state government has not been able to open the multi-billion Naira storey buildings along the Kano-Maiduguri road for the use of the targeted beneficiaries.
- No minimum wage for local government workers: The state government is yet to implement the N18,000 minimum wage for workers in the local government service of the state.
Also, academic staff in the state’s institutions have threatened to embark on strike in the New Year over unpaid backlog of allowances.
- Economy: The state government’s major challenge is stimulating the economy. Hunger and lack of means for sustenance amongst displaced persons living outside the camps have been major challenges for government in 2016.
The government has not been able to tackle the swarm of beggars on the streets. Things became more difficult for citizens towards the end of the third quarter when the state government commenced the verification of its workforce.
- Education: Education in Borno State has not been a success in the year 2016. Most public schools remained closed since March 2014 due to insurgency until October 2016 when many were reopened.
- Borno State House of Assembly Complex: Again, the state government has failed in its promise to build the proposed Borno State House of Assembly complex.
The new building is expected to end the long-term tenancy of the legislative arm of government in a property that belongs to the Borno State Emirate Council.