Borno State yesterday said up to $6 billion (N2 trillion) has gone down the drains and about 20,000 people killed, with two million others displaced in the state since the Boko Haram insurgency in the country stated.
Governor Ibrahim Shettima said this during the First National Economic Forum organised by The Nation in Lagos.
According to him, the $6 billion financial losses do not include losses incurred by local and international businesses located in the capital city, Maiduguri. He said before the insurgency, a branch of one of the tier one banks in Maiduguri was processing over a billion naira daily, the biggest cash centre in the country.
However, despite the challenges in the state, Shettima gave hope of creating a new Borno State. He showed the immense reconstruction activities going on in the state where the displaced persons will be rehabilitated.
“Our government has increased funding for education and made it free and compulsory. From practical experience and findings from on-the-spot assessment of our visits to schools, there were large school drop-outs due to poor feeding and paucity of infrastructure especially for the girl-child. We have also introduced a model transportation system that has encouraged more parents to send their children to school as against what we had before,” he said.
Shettima noted that his state has the second largest land mass in country, therefore, has enough land for farming but regretted that the state known for its huge agricultural potential with prosperous farmers, has become a shadow of its self with former big time farmers turning to beggars.
He noted that there is a direct correlation between poverty and insurgency, youth unemployment and insurgency, militancy in the Niger Delta and lack of skill and unemployment.