The Cross River Government has spent more than N1.7 billion on the development of 40 border communities across the state.
Mr Leo Aggrey, the Director-General, State Border Communities Development Commission, disclosed this on Monday in Calabar while briefing newsmen on the activities of the commission.
He said the fund was used in the provision of some development projects, including the construction and renovation of school blocks, health centres, VIP toilets and boreholes.
“In the 2008 procurement, 30 projects including five school blocks, five healthcare centres, three VIP toilets, and 17 boreholes were undertaken at the cost of N340 million.
“The commission also spent N1.34 billion in 39 border communities on the execution of comprehensive projects, including eight school blocks with furniture, eight Police posts with staff quarters, furniture and boreholes.‘’
Aggrey said that out of the 245 border communities in Cross River, the commission had intervened in 40 while 205 remained unexplored.
He listed some of the challenges facing the commission as difficult terrain in the communities, high level illiteracy among the natives of border communities, lack of access roads and efficient water transportation.
The DG also listed lack of communications network, demands by youths for compensation and 50 per cent slash in the funding of the commission as other challenges.
Aggrey said the 50 per cent reduction in the funding of the commission was utilised for the establishment of the State Community Development Association.
He said that governor Liyel Imoke was passionate about the plight of border communities.
Aggrey said the commission was collaborating with the National Boundaries Commission and the Boundary Development Commission in Abuja to boost the development of border communities in Cross River.
“We are also partnering with the Cross River Basin Development Authority for the provision of Water in the communities.’’ (NAN)