Nigeria lost $5.9 billion to insurgency, says Abdulsalami
• Again, four soldiers killed in B’Haram ambush
• ‘Rebuilding of Bama to cost N30 billion’
Nigeria, according to former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, “recorded a loss of $5.9 billion or N1.8 trillion” to the Boko Haram crisis in the North East of the country.
He added that the situation has “dangerously deepened the state of poverty in a region classified among the poorest in Sub-Saharan Africa, with 7 million people documented as vulnerable to deprivation, hunger and disease.”
Abubakar made the disclosure, yesterday, in Yola, at the Regional Conference on Peace Building and Reconstruction in the Chad Basin. The event was organised by the Modibbo Adama University of Technology, in collaboration with the Nigerian Army.
In a related development, the Borno State Commissioner for Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Babagana Zulum, said about N30 billion was needed for rebuilding infrastructure in Bama council area.
He said that apart from rebuilding 10,000 residential houses, over N3 billion was needed for reconstruction of hostels, classroom blocks, lecture theatres and staff quarters at the Umar Ibn-Ibrahim College of Education, Science and Technology (UCEST).
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Army again lost four soldiers in an ambush in Maiduguri. Sixteen others and three members of the Civilian Joint Task Force were also injured in the incident, according to a statement by Army spokesman, Col. Sani Usman.
Abubakar gave the assurance that Boko Haram had been defeated and that what remained for the military was clearing of few villages where the insurgents were still in hiding. He noted that the aim of the conference was to exchange ideas on rebuilding the Chad Basin and restoring hope to victims of the crisis.
Abubakar told stakeholders at the conference that for a permanent solution to the insurgency, participants had to identify what was responsible for killings and destruction by the sect.In a speech, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, said: “Boko Haram has been defeated. What we are doing now is ensure the Chibok girls and few others in the custody of the insurgents are rescued.”
The executive secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Mrs. Zana Buni, said the commission voted E50 million, as a short-term plan to cushion the suffering of victims in the Chad Basin.