Customs pledges humanitarian aid to displaced communities in Borno

By Rebecca Mu’azu, Gombe

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The Nigeria Customs Service has pledged to release foodstuffs to communities displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in some parts of Borno State.

This is in response to the humanitarian appeal made by the State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum, when he visited the Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali in Abuja.

Governor Zulum told the Customs Comptroller that “his visit was necessary in view of the humanitarian needs of the state, because it was becoming impossible for thousands of farming communities, mostly in northern Borno and some part of central Borno to access their farms, due to security concerns and operations by the military.”

Challenges
The Governor said; “more than 150,000 citizens of the state were taking refuge in Niger Republic, with many others in Cameroon while some who resettled in local government areas were also facing challenges of access to safe farming.”

He believed that an intervention from the customs would be critical, because donor fatigue was already setting in due to the slow down in humanitarian aids from familiar sources.

Governor Zulum thanked the Comptroller General for his consistent empathy to displaced communities in the State, through the periodic supply of foodstuffs seized from smugglers.

“I cannot tell you the figure (of food stuffs we shall be supplying) now as I don’t have the chart with me but we will resume soon. The President has already given us the directive to channel interventions to communities affected by humanitarian challenges. I assure you,” he said.

The Nigeria Customs Service since 2016, had excellent relations with the state, through the former Governor, Kashim Shettima, in dealing with the supply of humanitarian interventions to Borno State.

Intervention assurance

Colonel Ali assured Governor Zulum of his intentions to leverage on the relations between the customs and the State Government.

“You can come to my office any time. All you need is give me a call” he said.

The Borno State Governor was accompanied by the former governor of the state, Senator Kashim Shettima and other officials of the All Progressives Congress.

Mercy Chukwudiebere