Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya, has sought the support of the ministry of humanitarian affairs in his determination to strenthen the state’s social inclusion programmes while battling insurgency.
The governor was speaking when he paid a courtesy visit to the minister, Sadiya Farouk, in her office in Abuja on Monday.
The governor lamented the ‘non-inclusion’ of Gombe among the frontline states “when it comes to humanitarian support and interventions from the federal government for states affected by the insurgency.”
He also made a case for the expansion of the school feeding programme in Gombe to accommodate the rising enrollment figures as a result of the state of emergency he declared on education.
He said despite the COVID-19 pandemic, his administration is desirous to come up with measures to encourage small and medium scale businesses, especially in agriculture.
He said these would mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the socio-economic activities of the people.
“Gombe, being at the center of the North-east subregion is experiencing the influx of people fleeing insurgency in the neighbouring states, thereby overstretching the state’s resources in the process,” he said.
Governor Yahaya commended the ministry’s school feeding programme and its efforts to feed school children at home during the lockdown.
On the social investment programme of the ministry, the N-Power in particular, the governor pushed for special consideration for Gombe State in the ongoing recruitment process.
He lamented that the state had only about 2,000 beneficiaries in the outgoing batches.
Mr Yahaya also emphasised the need to expedite the roll out of the Government Enterprises and Empowerment Programme ( GEEP) in Gombe State in order to accelerate the economic recovery post-Covid.
He said Gombe is a commercial area “with large numbers of businesses and traders that need to benefit from the intervention”.
The governor also sought for the inclusion of Gombe in the National Emergency Management Agency’s agricultural intervention in the North-east.
He assured of improved partnership between Gombe Emergency Management Agency and NEMA through capacity building in areas of disaster response and humanitarian intervention.
In her response, the minister told the governor that her ministry will continue to prioritise Gombe State in its activities.
She thanked Mr Yahaya for his support to the ministry’s social intervention programmes such as Conditional Cash Transfer, N- Power, Government Enterprises Empowerment and Home Grown School Feeding, among others.
She sought the governor’s continuous cooperation in implementing her ministry’s mandate within the state.
The minister also expressed appreciation to the Gombe government for its support to the ongoing rehabilitation and de-radicalisation of repentant insurgents at the Malam Sidi camp.
She said the National Commission for Refugees Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) is planning to set up an operational office in Gombe and that “more support is coming the way of Gombe through her ministry”.
The minister also disclosed that NEMA will be engaging Gombe SEMA and others to prevent and manage disasters, especially with early warning signals, seasonal rainfall prediction and annual flood outlook earlier released.