Borno state Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, on Thursday inaugurated facilities that would encourage cross border trading between his state and Cameroon.
Recall that the violence in northeastern Nigeria has driven more than two million people from their homes, halted livelihood opportunities and has erased access to basic services, like healthcare and education.
The facilities rehabilitated include; Customs and Immigration Office, as well as a reconstructed police station and barracks, on the border between Nigeria’s town of Banki in Borno State and the town of Amchidé in Cameroon’s.
They were constructed through the Regional Stabilization Facility (RSF), led by the Nigerian Federal Government, with support from the UNDP and donor countries, such as Germany, the EU, Sweden, the UK and the Netherlands.
According to a press statement obtained by our correspondent from the Acting United Nations Development Programme’s acting Head of Communications, Alison Clement, Zulum noted that the commencement of the cross border trade activities would cement relationships existing among the people of both localities.
Zulum said, “The facilities opened today will allow people in Borno State to re-start cross-border trade between Nigeria and Cameroon and to feel safer when doing so. It will also further enhance our effort towards the restoration of civil authorities in communities and villages around borders.
“Through the Regional Stabilization Facility approach, we are looking at long-term changes. When we build a school, it will remain for the next twenty to twenty-five years, and we can see that the number of attacks have reduced in areas where we have implemented stabilization interventions.”