Buhari Signs North-East Development Commission Bill

by Bamidele Ogunberu Posted on

Abuja, Nigeria: President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the North East Development Commission (Establishment) Bill, 2017. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters(Senate), Sen Ita Enang, made this known in a statement on Wednesday.

According to Sen Ita Enang, the Act, establishes the North-East Development Commission.

He noted that the commission had the mandate to receive and manage funds allocated by the Federal Government and international donor agencies for the resettlement, rehabilitation, integration and reconstruction of roads, houses and business premises of victims of insurgency.

He added that the Act would also help in tackling the menace of poverty and environmental challenges in the North –East.

“It provides for offices of Chairman, Managing Director, Executive Director (Administration and Finance), Executive Director (Humanitarian Affairs), Executive Director (Operations) and members representing the North East Zone to be rotated amongst member states of the commission.

“The commission will among other things coordinate projects and programmes within the Master Plan for the rehabilitation, resettlement, reconciliation, reconstruction and sustainable development of the North-East Zone.

“This will be done in the field of infrastructure, human and social services, including health and nutrition, education and water supply, agriculture, wealth creation and employment opportunities, urban and rural development and poverty alleviation.

“The commission will also liaise with federal ministries, departments, agencies, states and development partners on implementation of all measures approved in the Master Plan for stabilization and development of the North-East by the Federal Government.

“It will equally assess and report on any project being funded or carried out in the North-East by any federal ministry, department and agency or company that has an agreement with the Federal Government, and ensure that funds released for such projects are properly utilised.

“The commission will equally liaise with other stakeholders on tackling of humanitarian, ecological and environmental problems and degradation that arise from natural causes, insurgency and industrial activities in the North-East Zone,’’ he said.

Enang further said the commission would seek humanitarian, human, material, technical and financial support from development partners, local or international, and Non-Governmental Organisations, with a view to developing the North-East region.

He pointed out that the commission was saddled with the responsibility of co-coordinating civil-military confidence building, stabilization measures and activities that lie within the civil-military interface especially before, during and after military and security operations.

He stressed that one other key role of the commission was to act as the focal point to coordinate and harmonise all other interventions programmes and initiatives that the federal government was involved with in the North-East.

The Senior Special Assistant said that the Act as assented to, had been communicated to appropriate authorities.

EARLIER: Comprehensive Total Rebuilding Of North East Begins In Weeks – Presidency. According to a press release by the presidency, the implementation of a comprehensive total rebuilding master plan of Nigeria’s North East Kicks off within weeks. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, who presided over a government-wide meeting that included the Governor of Borno State, federal ministers and service chiefs reportedly said “the plan is a very clear, we all know what direction we should be headed,”.

While the whole region is intended to be covered eventually, the plan opens with Bama Local Government including several towns in an initiative that would lead to the construction of 3000 new homes, 10 police stations, 18 primary and secondary schools, health centers, creation of Special Bama Squad for security and the recruitment of 1500 local hunters as Agro Rangers, among others.

Under what has been termed as the Bama Initiative, the Federal Government will contribute 67% of the funding, while Borno State would provide the balance 33%. “It is a partnership that is certainly going to work,” according to Governor Kashim Shettima.

Prof. Osinbajo chaired the meeting attended by the Ministers of Defence; Rtd. General Mansur Dan-Ali, Interior; Rtd General Abdourahman Dambazau, the Budget & National Planning (of State); Zainab Ahmed and the Power, Works & Housing (of State); Alhaji Mustapha Baba Shehuri.

Other top government functionaries included the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, the National Security Adviser to the President Rtd. General Baba Munguno, as well as military, police and civil defence chiefs, and the Director-General of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA.)

“Under the Bama Initiative, covering towns such Bama, Banki, Gulumba Gara and others, the Federal Government in partnership with the Borno State government is expected to carry out actual re-construction of houses for the return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as well as provide infrastructure such as roads for Bama town and adjoining communities.

The Initiative will also see to the kitting and deployment of thousands of police officers and officers of the National Security, Civil Defence Corps who are expected to be trained for the special task.

Equally, 20 doctors, 100 nurses and other relevant health officers are to be recruited to provide essential health services for the town, in addition to employment of teachers who will be deployed to 18 new schools to be constructed in the areas.

Road re-construction projects are also featured under the Bama Initiative which is now under exploration, including the re-habilitation of Maiduguri-Bama-Daral Jamal-Banki road network.

The welfare of returnees is also a major priority of the plan, ensuring a comprehensive support programme for IDPs as they return. It is expected that the implementation of the plan will kick-off in weeks.”

Author

Bamidele Ogunberu

Bamidele Ogunberu

A prolific writer, Bamidele has worked in generalist and public relations capacities for an energy company before making the cross over into journalism and has never looked back
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