THE government of Switzerland has donated the sum of $8 million (N1.6 billion) to Nigeria and neighbouring countries in the Lake Chad in support of all Boko Haram victims in the North-East sub-region of the country.
The donation was made yesterday when the Charge’d’ Affaires of Swiss Embassy, Daniel Cavegn, paid an official visit to Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno State at the Musa Usman Secretariat Complex, Maiduguri.
He said the visit of the Swiss Embassy to the state was to show solidarity with the people and government of Borno State as they are in a difficult situation caused by Boko Haram conflict.
Cavegn, who stated that the $8 million financial donation to Nigeria was specifically in support of the people affected by Boko Haram conflict in the North-East, including the countries around Lake Chad, said: “We are even looking towards increasing this funding, and to also extend the support and also for others to come here with strong presence of international donors on ground.
“We from outside, we have done our best to increase the humanitarian aid on one side. We support the World Food Programme (WFP), UNCFR and other international organisations.”
Speaking on restoration of peace, he said: “We have established an extensive network; we have also continued our exchange with your governor this time. We try our best to follow the situation on ground. I was told that the name of this state is home of peace. You will find the way back to normal life as far as I understand that the prospect for people here to live and earn an income to restart the economy and development is very important.”
Responding, Governor Shettima, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Jidda Shuwa, said in the last six years, the state was invaded by Boko Haram insurgents where 20 local councils were captured with the displacement of two million people, mainly women and children.
He said: “Thousands of other people were also killed and billions of naira worth of property in the private and public sectors also destroyed during the six-year insurgency in Borno State.
“Considering the situation in which we found ourselves and the meagre resources at our disposal, there is the need for foreign partners and international organisations to come to the aid of the state, especially in the reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of the destroyed communities.
He, therefore, solicited the intervention of the Swiss government in the reconstruction, rehabilitation and resettlement of destroyed communities.