Vice President Kashim Shettima (in black) with Governors of Borno, Adamawa, Bauchi and Yobe as well as Deputy Governors of Gombe, Taraba and Borno state during the 8th North East Governors forum in Maiduguri.
By Dauda Iliya
Vice President Kashim Shettima has flagged off the distribution of food and non-food items worth fifteen billion naira to six states of the North East region.
Senator Shettima launched the Presidential palliatives at the eighth North East Governors’ forum meeting in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital.
The North East region which comprised of one hundred and twelve local government areas has in the last fourteen years been largely devastated by the Boko Haram insurgency.
The crisis has hindered access to farmlands and other economic activities in many local government areas across the region.
Relatedly, the present economic situation has led to soaring prices of food items and heightened food insecurity in the region and other parts of the country.
This informed the administration of President Bola Tinubu to take short and medium term measures to address the economic hardship faced by Nigerians.
Vice President Kashim Shettima said the insurgency has damaged properties worth nine billion dollars accross the region with Borno state having 6.8 billion dollars of properties destroyed.
He commended Governors of the North East for coming together to forge a common front to tackle multiple challenges bedeviling the region and called on members of the national and state assemblies to work together with their Governors in distribution of the palliatives.
“Poverty knows neither APC or PDP. I will urge members of the National and State assemblies to sit down as a family, mobilise our brothers and sisters for the sake of the progress of the region support the state Governors” Shettima said.
Managing Director North East Development Commission Alhaji Mohammed Akali remarked that the Commission has key into the President’s initiative to improve food supply and also poised to bring succour to people of the region.
According to him, the food and non food items will be distributed to the six state Governors, eighteen senatorial district, forty eight federal constituencies and six State Houses of Assembly.
“The distribution pattern applies to the other Food and Non-food items and is designed to encourage wider reach to the vulnerable population and promote inclusiveness ” Alkali explained.
Borno state Governor Babagana Zulum who is also the Chairman North East Governors’ Forum stressed the need to develop new adaptable farming methods to mitigate the impact of low rainfall on crop cultivation this farming season.
He urged NEDC to support irrigation farming in the sub-region and other critical infrastructure for sustainable development.
Items donated by the North East Development Commission include 250, 000 bags of 25kg of rice, 81,000 cartons of spaghetti, 40,000 gallons of vegetable oil, 80,000 pieces of blankets and mats each, clothing materials and children’s wear.
Correspondent Dauda Iliya reports that the Vice President also performed the groundbreaking ceremony of phase 1 of 22.5 kilometer road network in Mafa and Jere local government areas.