The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, yesterday said the federal government had put plans in place to restore the destroyed means of livelihood of the people of the troubled states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe worse hit by Boko Haram insurgency in the last five years
Okonjo-Iweala, who was in Maiduguri with a team of experts sent by the former British Prime Minister and United Nations Special Envoy on Special Education, Mr. Gordon Brown, said the Save School Initiative programme would upgrade school facilities and restore the means of livelihood of the people.
The finance minister, who undertook a tour round some schools within Maiduguri metropolis destroyed by the insurgents, said the federal government was targeting $100 million to spend on the initiative.
She told journalists that: "I was asked by the president to deliver the Save School Initiative plan to the people and to see the situation as it affects the people. I am happy I saw the situation and glad I visited schools, even seeing some students writing exams. I feel happy I was able to interact with the students.
"The federal government will collaborate with the states affected by the insurgency to upgrade infrastructure. Most schools in Borno are closed now because of this insecurity and that is not good for us."
Okonjo-Iweala while commending Borno State Government for its efforts in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of classrooms despite incessant destruction by Boko Haram insurgents, explained that the initiative would be a holistic programme to include community participation and schools.
The minister on arriving in Maiduguri with the Director General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Sani Sidi, distributed relief materials to over 4,000 people displaced through Boko Haram attacks at an Internaly Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp at Yerwa Practice Primary School in the metropolis where she urged the people not to be dismayed.
The representatives of Gordon Brown, Mr. Robert Quick and Dala Masson, said the former UK Prime Minister was determined to make contributions towards ensuring the people in the area return to normal life.
Governor Kashim Shettima thanked the minister and the Brown team for the visit, saying the visit had further proved the unity and togetherness in Nigeria to address the common enemies of people including poverty, unemployment and insecurity.
He said he was impressed by the minister's disposition for accepting the invitation to join the Brown team having invited her on Tuesday.