By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri
The Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima on Saturday performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of about 22.5km Jere Bowl road networks which cut across many farming communities of Mafa and Jere Local Government Areas of Borno state.
The project to be handled by a Chinese Construction Company Ltd is sponsored by the North East Development Commission, NEDC.
Similar projects were performed by the commission across some states in the region during the past administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, especially the construction of 32km Garkida-Dabna road worth N6.3 billion in Adamawa State, 22.5km worth of N13.553 billion Jere-Bowls, 53km Gombe -Abba – Kirfi road in Bauchi State at the cost of N11.697 billion and the 54km Mutai – Ngalda road in Yobe which stood at the cost of N12.99 billion.
Shettima also flagged off the distribution of palliatives of food and non-food items donated by NEDC to the six states at the Government House Maiduguri with most of the governors of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauchi in attendance, while the other states of Taraba and Gombe were represented by their deputies.
The VP who has been in Maiduguri since Friday used the visit and commissioned various people-oriented projects including Mega schools, clinics, and other social infrastructures executed by Governor Babagana Zulum as he marked his 100 days of second term in office.
Shettima after the groundbreaking ceremony of the road project and the launching of the palliatives addressed governors and stakeholders of the region at Multi Purpose Hall, Government House, Maiduguri.
He said, “Ten (10) years ago, most parts of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states were under the control of Boko Haram terrorists.”
The VP lamented that $6.8 billion (N312.8 billion) worth of property were destroyed in the over-a-decade insurgency in Borno state alone.
He therefore urged the commission to complete the road projects in Adamawa, Gombe and Bauchi states.
“The deplorable Gombe-Bauchi, Maiduguri-Damboa, Biu-Gombi federal roads are to be undertaken by NEDC this year,” noting that their completion could enhance security and the seamless haulage of goods and services in the region.
Speaking on the distribution of palliative, Shettima urged members of the National and State Houses of Assemblies to donate the Commission’s palliatives to the six governors for distribution.
While commending the NEDC for prudence, he noted that the commission left N237 billion in its account before the former president, Muhammadu Buhari dissolved the governing board.
At the groundbreaking ceremony of the project that cut across Ngowom- Koshobe -Zabarmari -Gongulong- Kaddamari and other agrarian communities, the Managing Director of NEDC, Mohammed Goni Alkali said the phase I project of 22.5km Jere Bowl Road Network, if completed, would improve mobility, connect other communities, enhance livelihood and improve security and agricultural productivity.
“The new road is expected to stimulate economic activities, enhance security, and facilitate the free movement of goods and people in the popularly known Jere-Bowl of the state.