Zulum Targets Construction of 85,000 New Houses for 66 Communities in Borno

Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, said his administration is targeting the construction of 85,000 new houses in 66 communities in the state aimed at resettling IDPs and other victims of Boko Haram insurgency.

Zulum stated this on Thursday when he received a delegation under the northeast ambassadors’ group comprised of high commissioners, ambassadors, and developmental and humanitarian partners.

Zulum explained that each of the proposed resettlement communities will have schools, clinics, police posts, marketplaces, stalls, boreholes, secure farmlands and vocational training centres where appropriate.

The governor said Borno State Government would commit 15% of its annual budget to the solution pathways for the resettlement of IDPs while expanding Maiduguri city along six entrances to accommodate people who may choose to integrate into the city.

According to Zulum, the solution pathway requires Borno to raise 2.7 billion US dollars for implementation.

He said: “I am committed to resettling our people into decent homes in secure areas, supporting them to reintegrate into communities or relocate to another place as they wish, respecting their choices and dignity.”

The governor added that “Implementing the durable solutions pathway for IDPs will also significantly reduce the recruitment of jobless young men by ISWAP, which is a threat to national and international security.”

He  explained to the delegation his administration’s policies of rehabilitation, reconstruction and resettlement, highlighting solutions to internal displacement.

The governor noted the significant progress in security achieved by his administration since 2019 and gave assurance of consolidating the gains recorded.

He expressed gratitude to all the development partners for supporting the regional stabilisation facility and one UN offer, which has greatly impacted the lives of the people affected by insurgency in the Lake Chad region.

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of his colleagues, the chairman of the delegation of the Northeast Ambassadors Group and the high commissioner of the UK to Nigeria, Richard Montgomery, commended Governor Zulum for his commitment towards improving the lives of the Borno people.

He said: “I think I can say on behalf of the whole team that we are delighted and we are also united in recognising that you have made the commitment and showed dynamism in your leadership that we really appreciate. Also by showing the way you want to make a difference for your people and putting in place both the short-term plans and the 25 years Borno State development plan and vision.”

The northeast ambassadors’ group expressed commitment to support Borno in achieving durable solutions addressing the challenges of improving the livelihood of internally displaced people.

Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri