Reconstruction of houses, schools, hospitals, police stations, courts, local government secretariats, worship places among others destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in some parts of Borno State has advanced with the first phase of work currently going on in different parts of Kaga Local Government Area in Northern part of the state as visits to 16 sites of projects, some having numerous buildings in one site, have shown on Saturday.
The projects are being carried out by the newly-established Ministry for Rehabilitation, Reconstructions and Resettlement announced by the state Governor Kassim Shettima in September while appointing 21 commissioners. The works are undertaken with a standard set by the Shettima, that P.O.Ps be used to replace normal ceiling sheets and ultra modern aluminum roofing sheets be used instead of zinc with the aim of taking advantage of the reconstructions to remodel affected communities.
Shettima undertook an assessment visit that lasted about seven hours reviewing progress of work in major villages of Auno and Jakana as well as Beneshiek, headquarters of the local government area, all along the Maiduguri-Damaturu highway
The governor who left his residence at 10a.m. last Saturday along with journalists from different media organisations in an outing that lasted a whole day, made his first stop over at Auno village, located 21 kilometres away from Maiduguri to assess models of low cost houses being built for the purpose of resettling villagers affected by the insurgents, changing their standard of living.
He proceeded to assess a primary healthcare centre rebuilt with staff quarters for doctors, nurses and other health workers in Auno.
The governor also assessed a rebuilt and modernised primary school as well as the residence of the district head who is expected to play a renewed role in mobilising citizens towards community policing.
He also assessed newly constructed boreholes and a central mosque already completed, before moving to Jakana which is 15 kilometres away from Auno. While there, Shettima assessed the reconstruction of a police quarters made of units of houses and a primary school in addition to giving instruction for the immediate drilling of an additional borehole for a community.
Shettima then moved to Benisheikh, an urban area and headquarters of a local government area, where he spent most of the time inspecting numerous projects being reconstructed.
The governor also assessed works at the large council secretariat, a boarding primary school, the low cost primary school, Tamandara primary school, a secondary school, an office complex of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), an estate of 20 units of houses, an upper area court, a magistrate court, a cooperative store, the divisional police headquarters. From counting, a total of 16 sites of projects with most having numerous buildings in one site,
He said Kaga was chosen because of its immediate access to reconstruction workers, noting that the Bama, Gwoza and Askira Uba would form the next phases as blocks were already being moulded in sites located in the three local government areas while other construction equipment were being purchased. "As you can see, we are using P.O.Ps instead of Brazilian ceilings in all the buildings we have visited be they class rooms, offices, hostels, dining halls and what have you in primary and secondary schools, all the buildings in all hospitals from wards to offices and staff quarters, housing estates and generally, all our buildings.
"We are also using aluminum roofing sheets instead of zincs, we are using sliding windows that we use in our houses, we are using quality doors all these are part of the standards we have set to take advantage of the unfortunate destructions and remodel our towns to turn them to model places that will improve the quality of living standards for our people.
"We are completely rebuilding the attacked communities with a remodeling mindset to turn them to cities with modern private and infrastructures that will stand the taste of time with very functional service delivery in water supply, healthcare delivery, education and other essentials.
"Insha Allah, with the massive support we are awaiting from the federal government, Borno will be transformed. President Muhammadu Buhari has shown sufficient commitment to ending this insurgency and he has shown equal commitment to the reconstruction and rehabilitation process and we are so full of appreciation to him and all stakeholders involved in supporting Borno.
"We have had 20 local government areas affected while Yobe and Adamawa States has had between two to six each, Borno State is the worst affected and we are sure justice will be accorded to Borno state and to all states affected," Shettima said during an interview at the site of General Hospital in Benesheikh. The governor rounded off the visit in the evening and returned to Maiduguri almost at sunset.