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‘We are committed to eradication of poverty in Borno State’
BORNO State governor, Kashim Shettima, has laid bare his desire to build at least 100,000 houses for the poor as part of plans by his government to eradicate poverty in the state before the expiration of his administration.
Shettima said no matter the impression the people of the state may have about him, he would remain committed to his dream of empowering the poor and building schools, clinics, health centers and homes for the homeless in the state.
The governor lamented the wide gap between the North and Southern parts of the country in terms of physical development, stressing that it would take serious commitment on the part of leadership of the North, including governors, to close such gap.
According to him, “It is in our interest to do so. It is our duty to really work.
‘’It is more of a religious obligation on all of us to see that things begin to work in this country.
‘’The hottest place in the hell fire will be reserved for any northern elite who live in the islands of affluence and extravagance, leaving his neighbours to wallow in unending ocean of poverty and deprivation where over 80 per cent of our people are extremely poor.”
The governor, who was speaking during an interactive session with the media ,also said: “We take our own wards to posh private schools, abandoning the children of the poor to become ‘ECOMOG’, ‘Yan kalare’, ‘Yan Tauri ‘and sundry elements to be used during electioneering campaigns.
“Ironically, all of us were products of the public school system but, believe me, posterity will judge us harshly if we allow the public school system to collapse. In the next couple of months, we would invest heavily in the education sector.
‘’ I want to go and teach because you must be the change you want to see. I would teach in a secondary school.”
Speaking on the current climate of insecurity in the state, and the declining state of businesses, Shettima said the insecurity situation has affected business in this part of the world, stating, “I am in the best position to pass judgement on this because of my background as a banker in this state. In one of the branches of Zenith Bank, I was superintending and was number one in terms of processing of cash,” he said.
“It is bad now that a branch that was processing at times N1billion in a day is now processing less than N100 million in a day as most people are eating up the capitals.
“We are partnering with the Bank of Industry to help our people in their businesses. We are right now in the process of setting up a microfinance bank and I have just appointed an adviser on special projects whose responsibility is to midwife the take-off of that bank, and we are going to give the sum of N2 billion and we hope to also get N2 billion also from the bank.
“We also want to set up an independent scheme that will be insulated from politics so that genuine, deserving people are availed of such funds, something modelled after the Grameen Bank of Bangladesh with a special reserve and target for the womenfolk, with loans of N50,000, N100,00 to at least sustain their families.” Governor Shettima explained.Share