By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri

The $7 million resettlement plan funded by the World Bank has been flagged off in Borno State.
The project is targeted at over 50,000 victims of insurgency who were recently returned to their homes in nine local government areas of Borno State.

The Project Coordinator, Prof. Babagana Umara, who flagged off the exercise on Tuesday in Ngwom, a community in Mafa Local Government Area of the troubled state, said the project is to equip the returnees to be self-sufficient.

He said the project, Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project (MCRP), has as its component theme: “Transitional Support Towards Stabilisation and Self Reliance project activities.”

Umara said the project is expected to provide adequate livelihood support to 987 returnees in Ngwon so that they can start their lives afresh.

He said the scheme would be replicated in nine local government areas of Borno State with 50,000 persons targeted to benefit.

Umara said: “We are going to replicate this in at least nine LGAs affected by insurgency. We intend to reach not less than 50,000 returnees and the total cost of the project is about $7 million. The ministry is spending $5 million before the end of 2018; this is the beginning, the projects has three components; agricultural training and skills and non-agricultural sectors.”

He noted that though the World Bank did not provide food items in the project but SEMA supports the project given helping hands due to inadequate foodstuff for the returnees.

“This is one of the interventions by the World Bank project MCRP which I am the coordinator. We have MoU with the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to ensure that non food items are distributed. Food items is intended to support returnees, to stabilise them in their communities,” he said.

Speaking on the development of Ngwom, which was razed by the insurgents at the peak of the crisis, Umara said: “As you know, this was burnt down four years ago and we rebuilt their homes unfortunately they don’t have enough food items; SEMA complement our efforts by providing food items while we provides non-food items like mattresses, wrappers, mosquito nets, shielding and farm inputs were given to them so that they can start their livelihoods.”

In her remarks, the Executive Chairman, State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Ya’bawa Kolo, thanked the World Bank for its efforts to put smile on the faces returnees.

“The process was started three years ago. We are delighted for the project and we will make sure that the intended purpose is achieved. We just witnessed distribution of food items to the returnees, a total number of 987 families have gotten, we shall continue until they have all received,” she said.