Inaugurating the Board today, Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the President said that as a matter of urgency, the Board should conduct comprehensive survey of all States in the zone to determine the reconstruction and rehabilitation needs of all the socio-economic sectors of the zone and develop an intervention master plan based on the outcome of the assessments,
He also charged the Board to develop policies and implementation guidelines for immediate intervention in the development of the zone;
The Board is also expected to institute a strong mechanism for effective and efficient coordination of all the stakeholder (local and International) activities, starting by taking over of all Federally-funded activities, projects and programmes as well as the structures and logistics assets that the organizations utilize;
“In order to avoid duplication of efforts and waste of scarce resources, you shall be the focal organization to assess, coordinate, harmonize and report on all the intervention programmes and initiatives that the Federal Government or any of its Ministries and agencies are involved in the region. You must, therefore, constantly liaise with the relevant Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), States and other Developmental Partners for the implementation of all programs and initiatives and proper utilization of funds released for intervention in the zone.”
President Buhari wanted the Board to commence the process of Resettlement and Rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (lDPs) to their original homes or new communities in order to bring social cohesion in the zone,
He charged it to shift focus from humanitarian assistance as soon as possible in all relevant areas to developmental and infrastructural projects such as reconstruction of Road, Houses, and Business Premises destroyed by Boko Haram,
The Board will also evolve strategies to key into the African Development Bank (AFDB) Special Agro-industrial Processing Zones and any other such programmes and initiatives championed by our developmental partners (local and international) that will further bring socio-economic development to the zone, and endeavor to collaborate with willing partners to facilitate achievement of the Commission’s goals as enunciated in the Act establishing the Commission,
It will also coordinate and promote Civil -Military confidence building and put in stabilization measures that will ensure continued peace and social harmony as well as avoid the re-ocurrence of violence in the Zone.
The President assured the Board that his government would continue to provide all the necessary enabling conditions that will facilitate the achievement of the above and ensure that all resources due to the Commission are immediately made available to it.
The President said that the establishment of the Commission is in fulfilment of the pledge of this Administration to the people of the North East Geo-Political Zone and as part of the strategy for regenerating the socio-economic potentials of the Geo-Poiitical Zone after the devastation of the Boko-Haram insurgency. It is also in appreciation of the massive electoral support received from the Zone in 2015 and 2019 general elections.
“The North East Development Commission is established by the North East Deveiopment Commission (NEDC) (Establishment) Act, 2017 which I assented to on 25th October, 2017. The Commission is charged with the responsibility of among other things, receiving and managing funds allocated by the Federal Government of Nigeria and donors for the resettlement, rehabilitation, integration and construction of roads, houses and business premises of victims of insurgency as well as taking care of the menace of poverty, illiteracy, ecological problems and other related environmental and developmental challenges in the North East States.
“Let me emphasize that this 11 Member Governing Board has been carefully constituted based on the proven track records of hard work and integrity of members. It is therefore the expectation of Government and people of the Zone that you will rapidly and systematically set to work to address all areas of your
To demonstrate the commitment of this Government to your effective takeoff, a provision of N10 billion has been made in the 2019 budget. It is my expectation that you will judiciously apply these resources.”