Borno State governor, Kashim Shettima, has saidthe state government will invest $20 billion to ensure free and compulsory education in the state.
He made this known in Abuja on Monday at the 2017 Murtala Muhammed Memorial Lecture with the theme: “Humanitarian Crises and Response in a Plural Society: What role for leadership?’’
The governor said that the plan would be backed by legislation.
According to Shettima, plans are underway to build new schools that will be designed to provide quality education to children in the state, especially those who were affected by insurgency.
He disclosed that over 20,000 children orphaned by Boko Haram and other vices in the state would be covered in the programme.
“We have a moral obligation to provide education to the vulnerable because it is the most powerful weapon used to change the world; it is the greatest enabler within a generation.
“If we fail to take care of these orphans, believe me, in 15 years down the line, these orphans will definitely take care of us.
“There is a direct collaboration between violence, poverty and illiteracy; they provide the perfect mix to produce the perfect mix that will consume all of us.
“When people have little or nothing positive to expect in their tomorrow, they will not see reasons to preserve themselves for tomorrow and a hopeless person in a state of lack does not mind dying.
“Unless we wear our thinking caps as leaders, the future is very bleak,’’ Shettima said.
He called on Nigerians to shun conspiracy theories, which had become a weapon of national destruction, explaining that insurgency thrived with the help of conspiracy theories.
“The most critical experience and lesson I have had and learnt has been the power of conspiracy theories and how they undermine the fight against insecurities and the management of the humanitarian crises
‘`The Boko Haram insurgency grew from strength to strength because of the initial conspiracy, theory which began after the 2011 general elections.
“When we think that we should have learnt our lessons and make our dear country focus less on conspiracy theories, a recent development does not show that we are learning from the dangers.
“Another conspiracy theory arose that the militants are being funded by those who lost in the 2015 elections to destabilise the present administration,’’ Shettima said.
The governor said his administration was investing heavily in agriculture to reposition the economy of the state and create massive job opportunities for the people.
He explained that the state was blessed with a large land mass, which when well harnessed will lead to increase in food production and boost the economy.
Shettima said the government was planning to reconstruct the state, rehabilitate the victims of insurgencies, and relocate them to their homes so that they could officially to close down the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps.
He said that the camps were pregnant with a lot of challenges like child prostitution, drug abuse, gangsters, amongst other social vices.
The governor said if the vices were allowed to exist for the next two years, there would be bigger problems.
In his address, the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo commended Shettima for his commitment towards finding a lasting solution to the crises in the North east.