Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has urged European Union for extension of time for its implementation partners to complete projects affected by COVID-19 and security challenges in the state.
Zulum made the call in Abuja over the weekend at the meeting of Programme Steering Committee (PSC) held at the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
Zulum who lauded the EU and Implementation Partners (IPs) for supporting the state through many interventions, noted the challenges affecting the programme and assured his administration commitment in addressing the challenges.
The Governor urged EU and the implementation partners to ensure that all resources committed to the Borno Package is spent in Borno state.
In his remarks, the Commissioner of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement, Alhaji Mustapha Gubio also urged EU on the need to support knowledge manage of the Borno package through the ministry’s website and data centre.
In her opening remarks on behalf of Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, the Director of International Cooperation, Mrs Elizabeth Egharevba, expressed the gratitude of Federal Government to the European Union Delegation and commended the progress made by the IPs through the EU interventions in the North East.
She called for the appointment of a contact group that would facilitate and interface with authorities on the security issues and other bureaucratic procedures on the activities of the Borno Package.
She also used the opportunity to remind state Government on the need for commitment to roadmaps, budgetary allocations and other requirements for continuity and sustainability of assets and other gains of the Borno package.
In her welcome address, the EU Head of Cooperation in Nigeria, Mrs Cecile Tassin-Pelzer, acknowledge the coordination efforts of Borno State Government through the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (MRRR) on the Borno Package.
She reiterated EU committment to supporting Nigeria in addressing her challenges, and announced that EU would look at No-Cost-Extension request for approval or justify the need for extension.
Mr Kabiru Abass, the Team Leader of the Support to Coordination of EU intervention in Borno State (SCEUBS), presented the report of progress recorded, particularly in number of beneficiaries reached, outstanding activities and way forward for the successful completion of the Borno Package.
Similarly, the implementing partners also presented their progress, challenges and way forward calling for the improvement in security/access to project locations and extension in the implementation period of the programme.
The meeting also agreed to the possibility of no-cost extension whose duration period would be worked out on a later date.
The Borno package has supported more than one million beneficiaries in early recovery and peace building activities in 22 LGAs of the state.
The PSC meeting was held at Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning in Abuja and virtually on the EU Support to Strengthening Resilience in Borno State (The Borno Package).
The blended meeting has 38 participants physically present and 22 persons remotely from within and outside Nigeria. The objectives of the meetings are, to; review implementation progress and challenges, identify and suggest solutions to the problems affecting the completion of the programme.