Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
Yobe State Governor, Alhaji Mai-Mala Buni, has cried for help to resettle the victims of Boko Haram crisis in the state.
The governor, while hosting the North East Development Commission (NEDC) led by its chairman and managing director, Major General Paul Tarfa (Rtd) and Alhaji Mohammed Alkali, yesterday, said: “Resettlement and reconstruction are some of the hardest fallouts of the Boko Haram crisis. They require huge resources and sustained effort to deliver.
“They are not things that the State Government can do alone. Resettlement and reconstruction, to rebuild lives and restore hope, necessarily require all-hands-on-deck.”
He added that: “This is why the North East Development Commission could not have come at a better time. At this time of great need, we need you to come in forcefully; and we need you right now.”
The governor told the NEDC team: “Let me now outline some of the key areas where we need you to push the effort to restore hope among our people and make life a little easier for them.
“As you may be aware, we have declared a state of emergency in education and we are now at the stage of implementing the recommendations of a technical committee on basic and secondary education. Our objective of setting up the committee, following the education summit we convened recently, was to have a broad range of practical and actionable ideas to revitalise primary and secondary education and provide access to the best education possible for our children.
I have already approved the establishment of three STEM education schools and a teacher training center to both improve science education and the capacity of our teachers to become good mentors and good role models for their students. I have also approved the recruitment of additional qualified teaching personnel so that all of our schools have the teachers they need in all the subjects they offer.
“But we need the support of the North East Development Commission to get our education right. We need you to support capacity building for our teachers and principals. We need you to rebuild our classrooms that have been destroyed by Boko Haram and provide our students with access to new learning facilities. We need to make rapid progress in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics so that our students can have the confidence of becoming tomorrow’s leaders in scientific breakthroughs. We know they have the talent to become coders and even inventors. We just need to show them that it is possible. And we would need your support to that.
“Mr.Chairman may also be aware that we had convened a four-day agricultural retreat which ended only yesterday to generate the opinions of experts and stakeholders to revive agriculture in the state, incentivise farming and make Yobe the food basket of the nation that it can be.”
The governor said: “Today, more than 70 per cent of our population engages in agriculture. But most of it remains subsistent. With poor access to modern farming tools, poor access to improved seeds and almost zero access to credit facilities, our farmers have remained unable to upgrade their farming practices or compete with others in making agriculture the cash cow that it is.
“It is therefore our hope that the North-East Development Commission would partner with us to accelerate agricultural mechanisation in the state and provide the support that our farmers so desperately need.”