By Yakubu Uba
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno, on Sunday, supervised the distribution of N80 million and foodstuff to 16,000 female returnees in the Gwoza area of the state.
A statement issued on Sunday by Mallam Isa Gusau, Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Relations and Strategy, said that Zulum, who is on a humanitarian visit to the area, also ordered the reconstruction of 33 teachers’ houses affected by insurgency in the town.
“16,000 women were each given N5,000 cash to compliment the variety of food items given each of them.
“The intervention is part of the continued support to vulnerable residents of the communities whose means of livelihood is affected by activities of Boko Haram.
“Gwoza came under Boko Haram’s occupation between 2014 and 2015, with videos showing the insurgents’ deadly leader, Abubakar Shekau, using Gwoza town as the sect’s spiritual and territorial headquarters.
“The military liberated the town in the latter part of 2015.
“The insurgents had, during their stay, destroyed hundreds of private homes and public facilities, particularly the schools giving the sect’s ideological opposition to Western education,” Gusau said.
He said that the governor, while in Gwoza, also supervised the disbursement of N150 million as soft loans and grants to small and medium-scale traders.
“From the funds, N100 million was allocated to small and medium entrepreneurs living within Gwoza town, while N50 million was allocated to similar traders in Pulka, Izge and Limankara towns, all in Gwoza council area.
“The governor explained that the loan/grant, with a refundable period of four years, is meant to resuscitate businesses and livelihoods destroyed by the Boko Haram insurgents in communities of Gwoza.
“Zulum announced that any beneficiary that is able to repay 50 percent of his/her loans within record time will enjoy a waiver of the balance of 50 percent, while those who deliberately fail to repay within the dateline will be made to repay 100 percent of what they received as loans and grants”, Gusau said.