THE Borno Marketers Forum has called on the Federal Government to support traders affected by the Boko Haram insurgency to enable them re-establish their businesses.
The Chairman of the forum, Alhaji Goni Ahmed, made the call at an emergency meeting of the union on Monday in Maiduguri.
Ahmed said that the call was imperative to facilitate empowerment support to the displaced traders, mitigate their hardship and encourage growth of trading activities in the state.
He lamented that traders were not carried along in the recovery and livelihood support scheme being implemented by the government, in spite of the colossal damage caused on businesses by the insurgency.
Ahmed explained that the forum comprised of 85 traders unions spread across over 100 markets, with an estimated population of more than one million registered members.
“Our members are not benefiting from the recovery and livelihood support scheme initiated by the Federal and State Governments and the humanitarian organisations.
“The insurgents carried out series of attacks against traders and markets causing a lot of damage in the past 10 years.
“With the successes recorded by the military in the war against Boko Haram, the insurgents resorted to attack soft targets including markets and business premises.
“They also attacked traders on roads and looted goods, many traders lost their capital in these attacks.
“With these devastating calamities, the government is yet to support any of our members to enable them to re-establish their businesses, a situation which exposed us to untold hardship.
“We call on the Federal and State Governments as well as humanitarian organisations to support our members, to boost trade and commercial activities in the state,” he said.
Ahmed also called on the state government to include leadership of the traders’ unions in its empowerment, recovery and livelihood scheme.
Also commenting, Alhaji Kaumi Ali, the Chairman of the Kolanut Buyers and Sellers Association, advocated for entrepreneurial development programme, to enhance enterprising skills of the displaced traders.
Ali noted that 75 per cent of the displaced persons were traders, adding that provision of livelihood support to them would fast track resettlement and peace restoration process in the state.
While commending Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno over the implementation of the Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Resettlement (RRR) programme, Ali pledged the union’s support to the government’s policies and programmes to stimulate sustainable social and economic development of the state.
According to statistics by the Borno State Government and World Bank, the estimated damage caused by the insurgency was put at over 10 billion dollars.
While the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), indicated that 1.2 million of the 1.7 million displaced persons need critical life assistance in the North East. (NAN)
– Nov 19, 2019 @ 15:45 GMT |