Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
Borno State has procured 60,000 bags of fertilizers worth over N270 million for farmers to boost food production in the state.
The Commissioner of Local Government and Emirate Affairs, Alhaji Sugum Mai Mele, briefing newsmen on Saturday in Maiduguri about activities in the local government areas, said the fertilizers will be sold to farmers at 50 percent subsidized rate.
‘A bag of fertilizer is sold in the open marker at the rate of over N9,000 but the state government is selling it to the local governments for distribution to farmers at over N4,000 since it is government to government sales for our people,’ the commissioner explained.
He also disclosed that the government has reestablished civil authority in 23 of the 27 Local Government Areas which have been declared safe. He said government has rebuilt emirs’ palaces and public infrastructure in the LGAs to ensure political, social and economic activities returned to local government headquarters wrecked by Boko Haram terror attacks.
He said the palaces of two first class traditional rulers, the Emirs of Bama and Dikwa, have been rebuilt at the cost of N58 million. He said the state spent N137.9 million on the payments of allowances to over 12,000 hunters and civilian security joint task force members to complement efforts of military troops in the provision of security in the local government areas.
Mele said that some local government personnel have, however, refused to go back to their secretariats even after the rehabilitation of their offices, public building and reestablishment of civil authority. He said he led some officials of the Ministry of Local Governments and Emirate Affairs on a tour of the LGAs following a directive from the governor, Babagana Zulum.
He disclosed that senior staff who not at their duty posts have been reported to the Local Government Service Commission which has issued them queries. He said his ministry was still awaiting the outcome of the queries, which are expected within seven days of receipt. He urged those yet to report to their offices to do so as government was making efforts to improve security of life and property in the LGAs.
The Ministry of Local Government and Emirate Affairs has the mandate to manage the activities of the 27 LGAs and eight emirate councils in the state including the appointment of emirs and other traditional titleholders holders. The four local government areas of Kukawa, Guzamala, Marte and Abadam are still largely inaccessible or hard-to-reach due to security challenges.