The management of the North-east Development Commission (NEDC) has formally took over from the Presidential Committee on North East Initiative (PCNI) which was hitherto saddled with the responsibility to resconstruting the North-east region.
The event, which was used as a briefing session for the the NEDC management, took place at the PCNI headquarters in Abuja.
Speaking at the handing – over ceremony, Chairman of the newly inaugurated NEDC, retired Major General Paul Tarfa, thanked the PCNI led by retired General T. Y. Danjuma for doing a good job to address the challenges facing the people of the north east region.
Tarfa said the new commission would continue its work from where the PCNI stopped its activities.
“But don’t forget that we are a commission. So, we are also working on a master plan for which we are established. Wherever they have stopped, we continue. “You have a good plan called the Buhari Plan. Our coming as NEDC is to continue from where you have stopped. I think documents are there. We are going to work together. We need experience,” he said.
The PCNI Vice Chairman, Alhaji Tijani Tumsah, who received the NEDC team, said it was established in November 2016 because of insecurity in the north east and massive destruction that took place in the region.
Tumsah said the presidential order gave the PCNI the mandate to serve as a primary national coordination and advisory body in the federation for humanitarian, transformation, and developmental efforts in the north east, and to achieve peace, stability, socio-economic rehabilitation, reconstruction and long-term sustainable development of the region.
He said a strategic implementation framework called the Buhari Plan for North East was worked out for the development of the north east.
Tumsah, who underscored the need for NEDC to take up the challenge of coordinating the repatriation of refugees, said the body worked with the governors under different structures to carry out its functions.
The event, which provided opportunities for a question-and-answer session, was attended by the Director General of National Orientation Agency (NOA), GarbaAbari, as a member of PCNI among others.
Soeaking with newsmen after the event, the Chairman of the NEDC, retired Major General Paul Tarfa said that the Commission will work to ensure better lives for Nigerian refugees.
He said the commission will ensure that thousands of refugees currently in Cameroon, Chad, Niger Republic and those that are in the country will be properly taken care of.
“The whole issue is about humanitarian development. We will ensure proper repatriation of refugees from the neighboring countries and rehabilitate them.
“We will also ensure that they get the shelter they need to enable them
Pick up again. We are not only focusing on them alone but those that are scattered across the country will also be taken care of.”
Also speaking, the Managing Director of the Commission, Muhammed Alkali said the commission will also ensure a conducive environment for the refugees.
He said basic infrastructure such as; Markets, roads and other necessary infrastructure are provided.
“We know that Nigerian refugees want to come home. It is not their making that they found themselves in this condition, so we will do whatever we can within the provision of the act establishing the commission to give them what is required.”
He commended PCNI for laying a good foundation towards ensuring better lives for the refugees, saying that the commission will improve on their achievements.