Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala along side a team of representatives of the former British Prime Minister, Mr Gordon Brown, on Wednesday, 18 June, 2014 paid a historic visit to Maiduguri, Borno State, northeastern Nigeria.
According to reports, Okonjo-Iweala and Brown’s representatives were in the troubled state capital to inspect schools affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
It was also gathered that the aim of the visit is to launch the Safe Schools Initiative which would be backed by the federal government of Nigeria and Gordon Brown, who is the UN Special Envoy on Education.
* Former UK Prime Mminister, Gordon Brown
The finance minister, who was visiting the state for the first time ever, arrived in Maiduguri at about 10am on a chattered aircraft together with the Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima and two members of Gordon Brown’s team, as well as the director-general of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Alhaji Sani Sidi.
Sources reports state that the Borno State governor personally drove the finance minister round the town in his official bullet-proof car with tight security.
It was informed that Okonjo-Iweala’s first visit was a refugee camp for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) where she commiserated with the over 4000 IDPs and handed out relief materials comprising of bags of rice, beddings, toiletries and buckets.
She assured the displaced men and women as well as children of the commitment of the federal government towards seeing that peace returns to the state and also in helping them return back to their homes.
Borno State and other northeastern states of Nigeria have witnessed a lot of terror attacks from the Islamists militant group, Boko Haram.
The insurgents are believed to have killed over four thousands innocent lives since 2009 and many of the victims are residents in northeastern part of Nigeria.
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