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70 solar-powered boreholes near completion in Borno, Adamawa,Yobe states- Ministry

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The Federal Ministry of Water Resources says the ongoing construction of 70 solar-powered boreholes in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states to provide water for host and IDP communities are near completion.

Mr Ibiyemi Olu-Daniels, the Deputy Director, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Emergency Response, with the ministry disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said that the ongoing projects was necessary to complement efforts of the development partners and state governments to improve the lives of the people.

According to him, the ministry is also constructing 106 sanitation facilities in 11 states to scale up hygiene promotion efforts, and overall goal to end open defecation practices.

He listed benefitting states as Kogi, Adamawa, Yobe, Borno, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, Ekiti, Ondo, Osun and Oyo.

Olu-Daniels noted that there were plans to construct additional hand-pump boreholes in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, following the impact of insurgency in the affected states.

He said that plans were ongoing to carry out WASH assessment and coordination and to also inaugurate a WASH in Emergency Working Group in Kano, Katsina and Kaduna states.

He stressed that state governments should key into the Partnership for Expanded Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme of the Federal Government to ensure that through sector collaboration, all stakeholders would have potable water and sanitation a priority.

He said that cholera prevalence in Nigeria could be achieved with sustained pressure and coordination to see that all stakeholders have their roles to play timely to forestall further spread.

According to him, emergency response plan and coordination will go a long way to fast track humanitarian response to improve lives of displaced persons.

The deputy director added that there was the need for more support for host communities for IDPs, saying facilities were being overstretched, especially on water and sanitation, urging state governments to effectively coordinate and not rely on donor supports always.

He said that with an available budget line on WASH, it would be used to provide assistance immediately and not wait for bureaucratic delays from state governments.

Olu-Daniels, a member of the WASH in Emergency Working Group said the ministry was testing water quality in its six laboratories across the six geo-political zones.

He said that this would go a long way to promote water quality, saying it was also carrying out mini-filtration of existing water schemes through chlorination for the overall goal of promoting access to safe water sources and improved livelihood.

NAN reports that the WASH in Emergency Working Group was established in 2012 when the country experienced serious devastating flood that affected 85milion people from 14 states.

The group has since remained active, especially in the North-East where IDPs exist and have responded immediately to outbreaks.

The group membership cuts across WASH sector players from Institutions, Development Partners, International and Local NGOs, CSOs responding to WASH issues in the North East, with UNICEF as its co-lead.

General news

FG to build 500 houses for IDPs in Zamfara, Borno, Katsina, Adamawa

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The National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) on Thursday said that the Federal Government would build 500 housing units for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Zamfara, Borno, Adamawa and Katsina States.

The Federal Commissioner in charge of the Commission, Sen. Basheer Mohammed, made this known in Gusau while distributing relief materials to IDPs in the state.

Mohammed said that the Federal Government was concerned about the plight of the 2.4 million IDPs and their reintegration and resettlement, so that they could live a normal live.

“We are here for the distribution of food and non-food items that will benefit indigenes of Anka, Gusau, Maradun, Shinkafi and Zurmi Local Government Areas of the state.

As a Federal Government agency, our priority is to safeguard and protect the lives of specific vulnerable groups under our purview within the 36 states and FCT.

“The commission has taken this as a priority to build 500 housing units for IDPs in Borno, Katsina and Adamawa including Zamfara State, as phase one of the projects and we have gone far in this regard.

“We have received commitments from Borno, Katsina and Adamawa States to grant us 50 hectares of land.

Resettlement of 500 households, totalling 3,000 people in each resettlement city and a transformation of lives and dignity restored,’’ he said.

He noted that the commission was at an advanced stage with public and private investors to deliver on this goal.

“Zamfara has been chosen to be part of this housing development project which will ultimately complement the laudable efforts your government has made with Ruga Project.

“As I mentioned earlier, our major priority is our people that are displaced and if Zamfara Government approved, we will build 500 households resettlement fully equipped with facilities.

“We will also provide livelihood support schemes linked to clean water and health infrastructure; as phase one is attached to hygiene maintenance, financial inclusion and the creation of jobs.

“I will like to use this medium to obtain your approval for the allocation of 50 hectares of land in a safe zone, as a follow up to earlier request.

“The approval and partnership with the commission will be of great encouragement to our investors,’’ Mohammed said.

Responding, the Zamfara Deputy Governor, Alhaji Mahadi Aliyu-Gusau, thanked the state government for the gesture.

Aliyu-Gusau said that state government had been giving relief materials to various disaster victims in the state.

“We consider this as a complement to our state government’s efforts under Gov. Bello Matawalle.

“I am giving the commission an assurance of the state government’s efforts to any Federal Government’s organisation for the development of the state,’’ the deputy governor said.


Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: Fidelity Bank donates N5m to Borno

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The management of Fidelity Bank Plc has donated N5 million to Borno High Powered Committee for the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 pandemic.

Presenting the cheque on Tuesday in Maiduguri, the North East Regional Manager of the bank, Mrs Halima Mustafa, said the gesture was part of the bank’s social responsibility and contribution to the fight against the pandemic.

Mustafa, who lauded the commitment of Borno Government in the fight against COVID-19, called for a united front by all stakeholders.

Receiving the cheque on behalf of Borno Government, the Deputy Governor, who is also the Chairman of the state COVID-19 Committee, Alhaji Umar Kadafur, thanked the management of the bank for the donation.

He said that the gesture would go a long way in supporting the fight against the pandemic.

Kadafur advised other organisations to emulate the bank, assuring that the donation would be judiciously utilised.


Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

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General news

Residents laud Gov. Zulum’s  achievements in  Borno in 1 year

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Residents of Borno have commended Gov. Babagana Zulum, for what they described as his ‘modest achievements’ in his one year in office.
A cross section of residents interviewed by the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in  Maiduguri, said Zulum deserved commendation for his numerous achievements.
Hadiza Ibrahim, a civil servant said that the governor has been able to turn round things in his few months in office.
“He deserves commendation for the way he hit the ground running. He started with civil servants by making them to sit up and exposing late comers.
“He is among the few governors that have implemented the new minimum wage and address the issue of pension, to the extent that when you retire now in Borno, you are automatically switched to start collecting your pension.
”This is unlike before, when you have to wait for months.
“He is a workaholic and rewards hardwork. Look at the way he rewarded Mrs Obiagelli Mazi, a dedicated teacher with money and accelerated promotion,” Ibrahim said.
Mr Habu Ibrahim, a retired farmer said farmers were happy with the governor for his commitment towards full resumption of farming activities in the state.
Ibrahim said he was excited with the governor’s recent visits to farming communities along the Lake Alau and New Marte, to mobilise farmers for his ‘back to farm’ programme.
He urged the governor to intervene in ensuring the supply of adequate fertilisers and other inputs for farmers.
“With adequate inputs and security, in New Marte alone, where there is about 67,000 hectares of fertile land for large scale irrigation farming, many farmers in the state could be transformed.

President Muhammadu Buhari has just spoken on the need for farmers to produce more food
as government has no resources to continue to import food. This shows that Zulum is on track and we are ready to work with him,” Ibrahim said.
Also speaking, a politician and former Councillor of Hausari ward in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Malam Nura Salisu, said Zulum has not failed as a grassroots politician.
Salisu said the governor, in spite of prevailing security challenges, visited all the 27 Local Government Areas(LGAs) of the state to identify with the people and assured them of his commitment to fulfil his campaign promises.
Just before the Sallah celebration he went round six LGAs including Chibok, Askira/Uba, Gwoza, Damboa, Bama and Konduga to inspect projects and ensure government presence at the grassroots.
“He even directed for the establishment of an office in Auno following insurgent attacks in the area, so that he can be coming to work there from time to time, to boost the morale of the people who are deserting the area.
“He is really working and loved by the masses and we are hoping to see more from him in the coming years,” Salisu said.
Mr Yusufu Adamu a businessman, also lauded the governor, saying  his recent assessment visit to dormant industries in Maiduguri with a pledge to revive viable ones, to create employment and boost local revenue was a good move.
Mr Joseph Ali, another resident lauded the governor for his efforts in curtailing the spread of coronavirus in the state.
”He did this by involving all stakeholders, including religious leaders in taking decisions.
“The lockdown was given a human face by allowing people to go and restock on Mondays and Thursdays, while everything possible was done to ensure that palliatives reached the needy on time.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

 

 

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Defence/Security

COVID-19: NYSC offers free medical treatment to 1,000 IDPs in Borno

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The National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) has offered free medical treatment to 1,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), at the NYSC camp in Maiduguri in Borno state.

Mr Nura Umar, the NYSC State Coordinator, made the disclosure on Friday during the inauguration of its free medical care Programme  at the camp in Maiduguri

Umar said that the scheme was designed to enhance healthcare service delivery and improve the wellbeing of persons affected by insurgency in the state.

“We have a mini laboratory here at the camp for conducting test, and equally a pharmaceutical section where drugs are given to patients based on prescriptions of the doctors,”he said.

Umar said that the exercise was part of the activities lined up to commemorate the Anniversary of the NYSC Scheme.

He listed other activities to include sensitisation campaign at the camp to create awareness on safety and preventive measures against the coronavirus pandemic.

He said the current NYSC Director General, Brig-Gen. Shuaib Ibrahim, had been playing a leading role in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

Ibrahim Buni, an IDP, commended the NYSC for the medical outreach and efforts in providing essential services to them.

Buni also thanked them for the food items provided to him and the rest of the Internally Displaced Persons in the camp.

Hauwa Binta, another IDP, told NAN that she learnt necessary preventive measures of regular hygiene.

Benson Iziama edited

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Defence/Security

Borno govt discharges 135 COVID-19 patients

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The Borno Government on Friday  discharged 135 COVID-19 patients.

The Deputy Governor, Alhaji Usman Kadafur, who disclosed this to newsmen, said that the patients were discharged after testing negative to the virus twice.

Kadafur, who is also the Chairman, Committee on Response and Prevention of COVID-19, described the development as a huge success in the fight against COVID-19 in the state.

He attributed the successes recorded so far, to the efforts of the taskforce committee and health workers, who put in their best within the past weeks in containing the pandemic.

He reiterated the commitment of the government toward improving the welfare of the frontline workers who remained in the forefront in preventing the spread of the virus.

“The tremendous achievement made the state to record few cases in the past weeks.

“For those still at the Isolation centre, we promise to improve on their welfare and support them to recover fully,”he said.

Kadafur therefore, advised the people to adhere strictly to the COVID-19 preventive protocols to mitigate and completely eradicate the virus in the state.

Also speaking, Prof. Ali Kwajafa, the Chairman, Borno Chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), said that a total of 40 health workers tested positive for having contact with the first index case in the state, successfully recovered.

Kwajafa said that most of them developed mild and moderate symptoms of the virus while in the mandatory 21 days Isolation at the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.

He said that one Nurse died of the virus, while three other health personnel that were isolated in their homes were still being treated.

“The major challenge is stigmatsation in the communities and the belief that the disease did not exist in the state.

“This is why when you go round the city, you will see alot of people not wearing face masks,”he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria report that state reported 258 cases as at May 28.

The state also recorded 24 deaths.

Edited By: Bola Akingbehin/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

 

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Defence/Security

Troops neutralise terrorists, rescue 241 in Borno

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The Nigerian Army troops of Operation Lafiya Dole (OPLD) have neutralised several terrorists in clearance operations across the theatres of operation in Borno, the Defence Headquarters says.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Enenche said the troops of Army Super Camp 11 Gambouru under Sector 1 of OPLD, while on clearance operation at Mudu town on May 24, neutralised 12 Boko Haram terrorist (BHTs).

He added that the troops also rescued 241 persons in captivity of the terrorists comprising 105 women and 136 children.

According to him, four Boko Haram terrorists’ flags, one motorcycle, two bicycles, one amplifier and two sewing machines were recovered.

He stated that the rescued persons had been safely evacuated from the village and were currently under medical observation, adding that the village had also been cleared.

According to him, there is no loss of life or equipment from the Army.

Enenche also disclosed that troops of 151 Battalion on Tuesday, successfully killed several terrorists including several suicide bombers, adding that a number of others fled with gunshot wounds.

He added that the troops successfully engaged the terrorists who were mounted on 10 Gun Trucks and attempted to simultaneously attack the troops’ locations at Banki Junction and Firgi in Bama Local Government Area under the cover of darkness.

According to him, the courageous troops overpowered the terrorists with superior firepower and captured one Cobra Armoured Personnel Carrier, one Dushka Anti-Aircraft Gun, one AK47 Rifle and 1 FN Rifle.

“Other items captured by the gallant troops included three Hand Grenades, two AK47 Rifle magazines, one FN Rifle magazine, 78 rounds of 12.7mm Anti-Aircraft ammunition and 25 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition.

The troops also recovered 25 rounds of fabricated 7.62mm ammunition from the criminals.

On May 24, a prominent Boko Haram fighter, Malam Adamu Yahaya, AKA Saad Karami, who led the last attack on troops in Baga town and equally participated in attacks on Metele, Mairari, Bindiram, Kangarwa and Shetimari (Niger Republic) voluntarily surrendered to troops of 242 Battalion in Monguno.

“This was as a result of the aggressive posture of the troops and artillery bombardments of terrorists’ suspected locations around the general area.

The Chief of Army Staff congratulates the gallant troops for their professionalism and good conduct.

Equally the High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria commends the troops and encourages them to sustain the momentum of their operations toward eradicating the terrorists from the North East,” he said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Defence/Security

FG distributes relief items to 9,600 IDPs in Borno

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The Federal Government has distributed food and other relief materials to 9,600 victims of fire disaster at the Muna Albadawi Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Maiduguri.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that a fire incident razed about 1,813 shelters at the IDP’s camp on May 23, leaving thousands without shelter.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouq, distributed the items on Tuesday during a visit to the camp in Maiduguri.

Umar-Farouq was accompanied by AVM Muhammadu Muhammad, the Director-General Of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The minister said she was in the state to commiserate with the people and the state government over the unfortunate incident.

Umar-Farouq recalled that similar incident occurred in Gamborun Ngala IDPs camp two months ago where about 14 lives were lost and properties destroyed.

She said that the relief items deployed by the ministry through NEMA was designed to ameliorate the sufferings of the affected victims.

“Our prayers and condolences go to all those who lost their loved ones and property in the disaster.

May Almighty Allah comfort them at this difficult moment.

“I wish to extend the condolences of President Muhammadu Buhari to the Government of Borno Dtate.

“I am gratified to note that NEMA is already rendering technical support and relief for those affected. We have deployed our relief items in terms of food and non-food items to the affected victims.

“We are closely monitoring the situation and we will be providing every support required as investigation continues in the course of the incident.

“In view of the human and material toll this fire incident took on our lives, the Ministry in consultation with relevant agencies and stakeholders are evolving new strategies for an all-hazard approach that would prioritise fire prevention and mitigation,” she said.

According to her, the ministry has activated an immediate long term plan to kickstart the process of early recovery, which would include sustainable homegrown models for rehabilitation recovery and constructions.

“We are working in partnership with the Borno Government to kickstart 10,000 mass housing projects which have been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari this year.

“I commend the officials of NEMA and the state Management Agency for their timely response and the immediate activation of the crisis response protocol under the leadership of the newly appointed Director-General of NEMA,” she said.

In his remarks, Gov. Babagana Zulum, recalled that the Gamborun Ngala fire incident two months ago destroyed more than 1,500 houses, noting that the Muna Albadawi’s incident is equally devastating.

Zulum said: “The only solution to the incessant fire outbreak is to ensure that more permanent houses are built with a view to resettling back people to their localities.

“The major reason is that houses are made of corn stocks, coupled with the windy nature of this area; it is very easy whenever there is an outbreak, the entire area would be completely affected.

“Therefore, as you have rightly pointed out, the issue of medium and long term sustainable solution is the only way out.”

The governor commended the federal government for the support it was rendering in uplifting the standard of living of the displaced persons in the state at crucial times of needs.

Malama Uwani Ali, one of the survivors, lauded the government over the support, describing at as “life-saving”.

Ali, who is a mother of nine, said she lost everything to the inferno.

She expressed gratitude for the mattress, buckets, clothing and food items donated to her.

Mrs Aisha Ladan, another victim,  said the support has brought succour to her as well as her dignity.

“We have lost everything.

“We slept outside in the rain, but the support would enable us to build our homes and fend for our children,” she said.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Defence/Security

Army lauds Borno govt. over support on counter-insurgency campaign

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The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Burutai, on Sunday, commended the Borno government for its support to the Nigerian military in the counter-insurgency campaign.
Burutai gave the commendation when he led senior military officers on a courtesy visit to Gov. Babagana Zulum at the Government House in Maiduguri.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank Your Excellency most sincerely for all your support to the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Air Force as well the Theatre of Operation Lafiya Dole.
“Your support is quite immeasurable. We appreciate it and this has really made us to improve on our operations,” Buratai said.
In his remarks, the governor reiterated his administration’s commitment to the fight against insurgency and lauded the military for the successes recorded in the counter-insurgency campaign.
While stressing that he remained faithful to the Nigerian military, the governor said that in spite some misunderstandings, his heart has always been with the organisation.
“This administration, under my leadership, will remain faithful to the Nigerian military.
“There has never been a time since my assumption of office as Governor of Borno State that my faithfulness to the military was in doubt.
“To the best of my ability, I have always been supporting the military, and when there are issues, I make my good intentions known,” Zulum said.
The governor said that Buratai’s presence in the frontline in the last two months had boosted the morale of the fighting troops in the ongoing counter-insurgency operation in the region.
“In the last two months, we have been witnessing gradual return of peace; we are optimistic that the Nigerian military can contain the situation.
“The state government will do everything possible to support the Nigerian military,” Zulum said.

Edited By: Angela Okisor and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Defence/Security

Muslims observed COVID-19 preventive measures at Borno Eid-el-Fitri grounds

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Muslim faithful, in Maiduguri and environs, on Sunday conducted their Eid-El-Fitr prayers peacefully under strict security and COVID-19 preventive measures.

The News Agency of Nigeria report that the Borno Government had approved the conduct of Eid-el-Fitri prayers to mark the end of Ramadan fasting, but under certain preventive measures.

A correspondent of NAN reported that security operatives were deployed at various designated prayer grounds in the metropolis to enforce social distancing, use of face mask, hand washing and the use of sanitisers.

NAN also reports that vehicular movements were restricted in the state capital for certain period, to avert any incident, especially during the congregational prayers.

Muslim faithful trekked long distances in some places to attend the annual prayers in the state capital.

The Commissioner of Police in the state, Mohammed Aliyu, told NAN that about 1,800 policemen were deployed to man strategic areas to ensure a hitch-free Eid-el-Fitri celebration in the state.

Aliyu said the personnel deployed also enforced COVID-19 preventive protocols and keep vigil against unsuspected threats.

He said the personnel also conducted thorough checks and screenings of worshippers before they were allowed into any Eid ground.

Some worshippers, who spoke to NAN, commended the Borno government for making it possible for the Eid-el-Fitri prayer to be conducted despite COVID-19 pandemic.

Bilyaminu Yusuf, a worshipper at Ramat Square ground, Maiduguri told NAN that this would enable Muslims to collectively pray for an end to the pandemic and security challenges caused by the Boko Haram.

Yusuf also lauded security agents for ensuring absolute security during the Eid prayer.

Ibrahim Musa, another worshipper at the Polo prayer ground, also commended efforts of the security operatives at enforcing strict compliance to all measures the COVID-19 in most worship centres.

Musa said that it would go a long way to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus disease and instilled discipline among people.

In his sermon, the Chief Imam of Borno, Laisu Ibrahim, urged Muslims faithful to pray against COVID-19 pandemic and insecurity in the country.

Edited By: Yakubu Uba/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

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