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By: Ade Adeleke
Following Boko Haram destruction of the Northeast geopolitical zone of Nigeria, hopes have been raised for the impoverished and devasted North East Region with the take over of the Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative by the North East Development Commission (NEDC).
Maj Gen P.C. Tarfa Rtd, Chairman of the NEDC promised to continue with the “Buhari Plan.”
The “Buhari Plan” according to the Chairman, who was Speaking at the handing over ceremony in Abuja recently, is a strategic plan to ameliorate the plight of Internally Displaced Persons by providing facilities and infrastructure for the region.
General Tarfa noted that the PCNI had done very well. “So, we shall continue from where they stopped. But don’t forget that we are a commission. We are also working on a master plan for which we are established. Wherever they have stopped, we continue. While we continue preparing our master plan for the North East,” he concluded.
While handing the PCNI, Gen Paul Tarfa, PCNI Vice chairman, Tijjani Tumsah, noted that for the Commission to meet its mandate, there is need for it to engage the communities in terms of infrastructure provision among others.
On the issue of repentant Boko Haram members Tumsah disclosed that some of them were presently being trained in various skills to enable them integrate into their communities.
On his part, the Managing Director/chief Executive Officer, North East Development Commission NEDC), Mohammed Goni Alkali has said the Commission will concentrate on the provision of infrastructure to encourage those that fled their communities to return home.
He said that in-spite of the challenges associated with the provision of infrastructure, the NEDC Managing Director explained that it would not shy away from meeting the immediate needs of the people.
“Infrastructure could be in the form of roads, housing whatever, that will make them come back to their communities. These are people that maybe want their market to be rebuilt, want their mosque to be rebuilt, or their houses to be rebuilt.”
“That will give them the assurance that life is coming back. So we will try to build back that confidence,” Alkali said.