The German Foreign Affairs Minister, Annalena Baerbock, today, Dec. 19, visited communities in Borno state, Northeast Nigeria.
Ms Baerbock went to Mafa, a village 54 km northwest of Maiduguri, where she inspected about 1000 units of low-cost housing projects built by the state government with the support of the German government.
The host governor of Borno state, Babagana Zulum, who led her to the site of the project at Ngaragam village in Mafa, noted that Germany was the highest donor when the €50 million Lake Chad Regional Stabilization Facility fund was raised recently.
Governor Zulum said the fund had assisted the state government in its post-conflict stabilisation program, which included the building of permanent structures for IDPs in safe locations.
The German Minister, who seemed pleased with the government’s efforts at returning IDPs to their communities, noted that rebuilding communities, especially the healthcare and educational infrastructure, would help in mitigating terrorism and guarantee a safer future for the children.
“We would be working together as European partners, as German partners in the peace and stabilisation process here. We would work on security, education, and also supporting health infrastructure, development,” she said.
“Education is the best promise for the coming future and we can see how important it is here to engage the communities because people know the best way to build a future for their children.”
Governor Zulum said the German support for Borno state has significantly slowed down youth radicalisation and joining of the Boko Haram terror group.
He said “German government has been the major donor to the fund used in building the 1,000 housing project in Ngarannam community of Mafa LGA of the state.
“Without this support, I believe that many youths would have joined ISWAP, ISIS and that would have caused problems not only to the Northeastern states but entire northern Nigeria and entire Europe and the entire world.”
He added: “You can see that more than 3000 people are living in the Ngaramman community and this is only one of the eight communities in which Germany had so far intervened.
“By contributing to the RSF, you are providing livelihood to our people, and these people would not have a chance to join ISWAP or ISIS, reducing crises in entire sub-Saharan Africa, and the entire Sahelian region and therefore, I remain grateful to the government of Germany for all the support to us,” he said.
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