The North-east Development Commission is helping to rebuild many communities and infrastructure devastated by insurgency especially in Adamawa state. MUAZU ABARI reports.
As the people of the North-east geo-political zone continue to grappled with the devastating effect of insurgency that has made live nasty with its devastating effects and wanton destructions of lives, infrastructures, one thing however that gives them hope is the federal government’s commitments and sincerity towards their plight with the establishment of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) as an interventions agency to ameliorate their sufferings.
Despite the workload of the commission in terms of its core mandate like restoration of livelihood for victims, rebuilding of critical infrastructures, fast-tracking the process of long term socio-economic development and providing tangible supports to victims, among others, the commission under Mohammed Goni Alkali has not disappointed the region, but has continued to live up to their expectations with many success stories.
Little wonder therefore that within the shortest time of its establishment, the commission has recorded unprecedented achievements in the history of humanitarian interventions since the end of the Nigeria Civil War with its impacts felt across Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa and Taraba in terms of projects execution and humanitarian services especially in reconstructions of hospitals, roads, bridges, schools, empowerment, skills acquisition, among others.
The new drive
To further consolidate on the gains recorded by the commission since its inauguration Alkali, NEDC decided to embark on new life-saving projects across all the six North-east states in furtherance of its mandate to make life easy for the people. In the case of Adamawa state, the commission has taken over the reconstructions of three critical bridges in Kudzum, Dilechim and Wurro Ngayandi destroyed by the insurgents in Michika and Madagali local government areas which completely cut off Adamawa from Borno state and in the process grounded socio-economic and commercial activities between the two states.
The commission also embarked on constructions of Burnt Centre at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC ) Yola as well as infectious laboratory for testing Covid 19 at the state Specialist Hospital Yola, among many other life- saving projects in the state which are completed, fully equipped and ready to be put to public. It is therefore, not surprising that the NEDC boss led other top management of the commission, governing board, minister of works, National Assembly members and other stakeholders to Adamawa state on a two-day official working visit to commission and hand over some of these completed projects and flags off new ones.
Among the activities carried out during the two-day working visit is the flags off of 500 housing units for IDPs in the state, distribution of foods and non-food items to victims of insurgency, handing over of a well-equipped Burn Centre build at FMC Yola and infectious diseases laboratory among many other activities geared towards bringing succour to the people.
NEDC gives further insight
Speaking at the event, Alkali gave insight into the pathetic situation of the region and the vision that culminated into the constructions of the 500 houses units in all the states
He said, “The stock of houses in the North-east states before insurgency was about four million out of which over 500,000 houses and commercial premises were destroyed or irreparably damaged. Even before the insurgency, there was housing deficits in all the states of the zone; therefore, the insurgency only further aggravated the situation. In all of these, Borno state being the epicentre of crisis is worst affected with large number of IDPs.”
Based on the above, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari had earlier in 2019 approved a special presidential interventions in Borno (SPIB) to ameliorates the desperate situation that the displaced communities found themselves through the constructions of 10,000 houses among other development palliatives. As part of execution of SPIB, it was resolved that the NEDC should undertake the constructions of the first 1,000 houses.
“The commission reflecting on its mandate decided to extend this gesture to replicate same in other five states of the zone by the constructions of 500 houses in each state. To realise this, the commission had earlier requested and received approval from the Adamawa state government the allocation of the plot of land for the 300 houses in the state capital Yola and balance of 200 to be spread among other cities in the state
On NEDC’s decision to also flag-off the distributions of foods and non-food items to internally displaced victims, Alkali said the gesture is to addres the rapidly deteriorating food insecurity situation in the region taking into consideration the recent alarm raised by the United Nation resident coordinator in Nigeria, Ambassador Edward Kallon about the need for humanitarian community, the UN and non-governmental organisations to join efforts to address the rapidly deteriorating food insecurity situation in the North-east
He gave a breakdown of the items to include 10,000 bags of rice, 10,000 gallons of vegetable oil, 2000 bags of sugar, 3000 cartons of spaghetti, 2000 cartons of macaroni, 3000 blankets, 3000 mats, 10,000 mosquitoes net, 10,000 mosquitoes hand bands among other items for use by displaced persons.
Alkali said further that, “Your excellency, during our last visit, we promised donating to the state a fully-equipped infectious diseases laboratory for the testing of Covid-19 and other diseases. It gives me great pleasure to announce that you will formerly commission the laboratory at the Specialist Hospital today for the benefits of mankind. We already commissioned those of Borno, Bauchi, Taraba and Yobe while that of Gombe would be commission soon.
In keeping with its proactive approach to health care matters, the commission also undertook and funded the establishment of two first class burn centres one at the University of Maiduguri Teaching hospital (UMTH) and the second one at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Yola to address incidences of burn injuries and other related matters. The one in UMTH has already been commissioned.
He also announced the commission’s decision to provide a borehole, 500 KVA generator and 10,000 litre of diesel for a start to make the centre and other facilities at the FMC functional. This is as he unveiled other projects to be executed by the commission any moment from now among other projects.
Fintiri applauds NEDC
On his part, Gov Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri appreciated NEDC for their various interventions and assured them of his administration’s commitments to collaborate with them at all times for the benefits of the state.
He said, “As a government, we deeply appreciate these tremendous efforts and the immense contributions of NEDC and we would continue to collaborate with NEDC in all its programmes and activities as much as possible strive to provide the enabling environment to ensure that all the commissioning facilities and programmes thrive in the state”
“Adamawa under my administration in the past two years has among other infrastructural development witnessed tremendous beautification and aesthetic restoration in our avowed commitments to ensure that no one is left behind and nothing is left untouched. The laying of the foundation for the constructions of 500 houses units by NEDC as part of efforts to expand access to the services in the state not only add aesthetic beauty of the state but also aligns with my administration policy goals.”
The two-day working visit also witnessed the commissioning of the historic Kudzum bridge which reconnected Adamawa to Borno state as it was opened for public use ending many years of untold hardship faced by the people. Speaking at the commissioning of the bridge, Alkali said, “Today we are witnessing the historical inauguration of Kudzum bridge one of the three major bridges destroyed by Boko Haram in 2014.
“The commission in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing reconstructed the three bridges at Kudzum, Dilechim and Wurro Ngayandi destroyed by the insurgents along Mubi to Bama/Maiduguri road. Work on the 2 bridges in Dilechim and Wurro Ngayandi are progressing and about 70 percent completed with the scope of work on the two bridges covering 500.0m with 2.500m and the commission signed another MOU with FMWH for the constructions of another 3 bridges in Jabbilamba to Belel road,” he revealed.