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Nigeria’s UN rep visits Zulum, reaffirms support to Borno

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The United Nations on Monday reaffirmed its commitment to support Borno State Government in its restoration drive resulting from the over one decade of destruction by Boko Haram insurgents.

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mohammed Mustapha Malik Fall, who is also the Assistant Secretary General of the UN, made this known in Maiduguri during a courtesy visit to the Government House.

Mr Fall noted that Borno State has achieved so much in peace and development of the communities affected by the crisis.

“Even though we still have some challenges, when I look at where it was in 2015 and 2016 compared to where we are today in terms of access, in terms of population that can benefit from the services of the executive and the government, in terms of people whose well-being has been improved, in terms of services that are provided to people who need it so much, I can say that it has been a very long journey that has been made,” Mr Fall said.

He commended Governor Zulum for his efforts towards improving the lives of Borno people.

“Your Excellency, I want to commend you and your team for those steps that have been taken,” Mr Fall said.

He also said, “My own is a responsibility to come and bring my contribution, not only me but the entire UN system. I want you to believe that we are here only for one thing: to understand where you want to go, read where you want to go and be behind you, be behind your back and make sure that every single step you make on the way towards improving the lives of the people of Borno, you will have us next to you in that journey.”

He added, “Every initiative you implement or undertake, you can count 100% on my support and the support of the entire UN team.

Mr Fall was posted to Nigeria last week as a resident and humanitarian coordinator. He has over 20 years of experience in development, humanitarian, and peacebuilding.

Responding, Governor Zulum expressed gratitude to Mr Fall for the visit while noting his numerous contributions to the development of Borno and the entire northeast when he was UNICEF’s country rep between 2016 and 2019.

Zulum, however, made it clear that his administration is committed to resettling IDPs to their ancestral homes or another place safe for them to source their livelihood themselves.

He said, “When we were campaigning, we promised the IDPs that we would do everything possible to resettle them back to their ancestral homes in a dignified manner.”

The governor assured of his commitment to collaborate with the UN and ensure that humanitarian and developmental services were rendered concurrently for the people of Borno State.

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