By Chijioke Okoronkwo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says that Borno, inspite its challenges, has proved how resilient Nigeria can be.
Osinbajo made this submission during a courtesy visit to the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar El-kanemi, on Thursday in Maiduguri.
The vice president was in Borno to unveil the 30th edition of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Clinics in Maiduguri and also to inaugurate some projects completed by Gov. Babagana Zulum.
“Borno State has proved so many things; it has proved what Nigeria can be; how resilient we are; how courageous we are; how committed we are to the Nigerian project.
“From the days of former Governor, Kashim Shettima, now a senator, I have seen a steady hand of progress here in Borno State; a commitment to development, a commitment to growth.
“And then over to Zulum, who has proved that it is possible to do incredible things with very little.
“ And I think that just looking at his so many achievements, every time I make a speech somewhere, I always refer to what Zulum is doing because he has demonstrated that with little resources, we can do a lot.
“And that the problem that we have in this country is not so much poverty or lack of resources; it is a commitment to the people; that commitment to the people to do the best we can for our people.
“That is what Zulum has shown today,” he said.
Osinbajo said that he had inaugurated projects in the state and was looking forward to inaugurating more.
He commended the governor for the excellent work that he was doing; and for the great encouragement that he was giving to all Nigerians everywhere and also to the political class.
Osinbajo told the traditional ruler that aside inaugurating projects, he was in the state for MSMEs Clinics.
“That it is possible to develop our country; it is possible to do well; and it is possible for us to do the best that we can for our people especially the poorest and most vulnerable of our people.
“It is a clinic for small businesses; what we do from state to state is to bring together all the small businesses and the Federal Government brings the regulatory authorities to meet them.
“So, today we have brought the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON); we have brought NAFDAC; we have brought the Bank of Industry (BOI); the FIRS; the different regulatory agencies to meet with the small businesses.
“This is so that the small businesses can lay their complaints before these regulatory authorities; because very few businesses can travel all the way to Abuja and the other centre where the regulatory authorities are.
“So, we go from state to state taking the regulatory authorities to the small businesses,’’ he said.
He thanked El-Kanemi for his hospitality and friendship.
Earlier, El-Kanemi appreciated the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and the vice president for their efforts in ensuring the restoration of lasting peace in Borno and the North-East Zone in general.
He, however, appealed to the Federal Government to resume oil exploration in Borno and to set up international border markets to promote trade, industry and rapid development in border communities.
The traditional ruler said that Borno bordered Chad, Niger Republic and Cameroun.
On his part, Zulum said that the president recently inaugurated a committee which was being chaired by the vice president with the mandate of repatriating indigenes of Borno that were living in the Republic of Cameroun, Chad and Niger.
The governor also sought Federal Government’s assistance in bringing back to their homes internally Displaced Persons and indigenes of the state who were refugees in neighbouring countries.
“The mandate of the committee among others is also to look into the defectors; managing ex Boko Haram members.
“This is indeed one of our major constraints in Borno because if we manage these defectors very well, insurgency will come to an end very soon.
“In addition to this, we have about 66, 000 indigenes living in Cameroon, 120, 000 living in Niger Republic and about 25, 000 living in Chad.
“This is a huge figure and the state government cannot shoulder the responsibilities and our people are yearning to come back home.
“We are pleading with our leadership to assist the people and government of Borno in ensuring quick repatriation,’’ he said.
Zulum said he was upbeat that two-third of the IDPs would be returned to their respective home towns in the next one year.
Osinbajo inaugurated the Doctors’ Quarters Maiduguri, RCC Resilience Commercial Centre, Mai Deribe Memorial Senior Secondary School, Old Maiduguri, and Goni Damgari road project.
The vice president also visited the North-East Learning Centre, El Badawi IDP camp and camp for rehabilitation of repentant Boko Haram insurgents.(NAN)
By Chijioke Okoronkwo