Northeast is a geo-political region in Nigeria that comprises six states which includes Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe. It’s a well known fact that some parts of North-east have been suffering from Boko Haram insurgency for over ten years, thousands of people have lost their lives and many properties have been destroyed by the terrorists.
Some victims of Boko Haram insurgency left their houses, properties and towns to another place in order to live in peace with their families. Most of these victims find life difficult due to circumstances; that they have no work to do, they cannot afford to send their children to school and someh have no place to stay with their families.
Many of the stateless people are living under the canopies which were provided for them by some non-governmental organisations and they are still facing the problem of water shortage in their camps. As a result, some irresponsible men find it easy to give money to their daughters and have sexual intercourse with them.
The Federal Government of Nigeria in trying to eradicate such problems and make the living conditions in the camps better, created an organisation that will suss out the source of the difficulties in the Northeast and solve it.
The Northeast Development Commission was established under section 1 of NEDC Act 2017. The commission was established after the bill for establishing the commission was passed by the two legislative chambers on October 25, 2017, President of the federal Republic of Nigeria assented to the bill.
The duties of North Eastast development Commission clearly stated in section 8 of the commission’s Act of 2017, states summarily that the Northeast development Commission is charged with the responsibilities of settlement, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of roads, houses and business premises of victims of Boko Haram insurgency as well as tackling of poverty, illiteracy, ecological problems and any other related environmental or developmental challenges in the Northeast States.
Section 8 (1)(b) of the NEDC Act 2017 provided:
(b) Cause the Northeast zone to be surveyed in order to ascertain the extent of loss or destruction and embark upon measures that are necessary for proper planning and implementation of physical and socio-economic reconstruction of the zone, and the survey shall include:
(i) ascertainment of person who were killed or missing and the. details of their dependents,
(ii) detailed of account of destruction and valuation of infrastructure and asserts destroyed,
(iii) requirements for rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructures ( road, bridges and similar infrastructures), institution (schools, hospitals, places, homes, places of worship and similar institution),
(iv) requirements for rehabilitation and recapitalisation of business and empowerment schemes for poverty alleviation,
(v) requirements for reactivation of health, nutrition, agriculture, education and welfare services.
(vi) requirements for reorientation of youth and out of school children including modernist of schools and almajiri education, and
(vii) peace and conflict assessment to determine the root causes and impact of the crises and the factors inhibiting reconciliation peaceful co-existance.
Unfortunately, the commission has the above mentioned duties yet millions of people in the North East do not know about it.
The question here is whether or not the officials of the said commission are really discharging their duties as stated in section 8 of the NEDC Act, 2017. I have no doubt, the society should be aware of the commission’s efforts than any organisation in the Northeast, if they are truly working according to what is provided by NEDC Act of 2017.
The North East Development Commission was allocated a sum of N10 billion in the 2019 budget of the federal republic of Nigeria, and a sum of N37.8 billion was allocated to the commission in the budget of 2020 for humanitarian and developmental intervention in the Northeast.
Let the people of Northeast understand what is happening, we want to see a working program, we cannot continue reading news on newspaper while we see no action on ground.
Therefore, I am calling on the Federal Government to investigate the officials of NECD and explain with evidence to the citizens of Nigeria on how they utilised the 2019 and 2020 budget monies which were allocated to them.