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NEDC’s human face and North East IDPs

By Moses Adamu
25 November 2022   |   3:34 am
Excellence can simply be defined as the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. It is not just about doing the right thing; it is about doing it exceptionally well.

Photo by AFP

Excellence can simply be defined as the quality of being outstanding or extremely good. It is not just about doing the right thing; it is about doing it exceptionally well. The truth is, the more people there are in any society who put uncommon efforts into the common everyday tasks, the more progress it makes.

Undisputedly, this best described the North East Development Commission (NEDC). Following the inauguration of NEDC by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017 to coordinate all Humanitarian interventions by government Ministries, Departments and Agencies based on The Northeast stabilization and restrategising masterplan, a lot can be said about its magnanimous achievements in the elimination and mitigation of various effects caused by terrorism in the Northeast, which has so far resulted to rapid economical growth in the affected areas.

The North East Development Commission, as we all know, is an interventionist agency. However, the existential-effect of the NEDC has proven to be different, and also further distinguished from other interventionist agencies in the country. There has been a consistent drive towards achieving its core mandate in rebuilding North East Nigeria that had suffered phenomenal destruction since 2009 when the Boko Haram group began its violent campaign against Nigeria. Thus, empowered by the FGN and other international intervention agencies, the Alhaji Mohammed Goni Alkali-led NEDC management embarked on this assignment with every seriousness and vigour, under the broad programme of Rapid Response Intervention (RRI) by giving it all that is needed to be done in order to bring about normalcy in the region.

Overtime, the NEDC has influenced the peace process in the long term, via development projects. The Federal Government in all its wisdom seeing the many crisis faced by the North Eastern part of the country commissioned the NEDC to relieve the region of its troubles. It was a development that at the time received a lot of criticism from malcontent individuals and members of the opposition party.

However, in the wake of recent government efforts, among various initiatives that were established in actualisation of the plan which is based on strengthening criminal justice responses to Terrorism in the Northeast, one unique agency of the Federal Government that distinguished itself outstandingly in public leadership was the North East Development Commission (NEDC) by making lots of iconic footprints in public space.

If we could walk down memory lane, before the intervention of NEDC, we should still remember that the north eastern region of the country attracted a lot of attention from all over the world owing to the plagues of terrorism it faced in recent years. Banditry and killings were the order of the day in that region. The calamitous effect of these many crises in the region was widespread, and people living in the region were faced with constant unrest. Families that were displaced from their homes were forced to seek refuge in other less troubled regions or in IDP camps. Children couldn’t attend schools, as these schools were no longer safe and farmers never felt safe to go out and farm, leading to the rise in the cost of many edibles that use to be transported from the northern east to other states. All these greatly affected the nation at large.

It can be obviously stated that the crisis in North-East Nigeria that came with its attendant loss of lives, destruction of properties and displacement of thousands of people has been greatly managed and subdued, leaving its after effects less visible. This is as a result of the magnanimous reconstruction, and progressive decision implementation made by the NEDC in the coordinating, harmonizing, and overseeing the success of many intervention and initiative programmes for the North Eastern states.

The NEDC have been able to successfully step in by bringing relief and intervention to these challenges. It has been able to successfully achieve the mandate handed over to it under the leadership of its Chairman, Mohammed Alkali. Establishing the agency was a much needed development and it was clear that such a vital agency had to be headed by a sagacious individual who was more than capable of handling the agency and achieving all its goals.

On a positive note, these great achievements of the NEDC is a manifestation of great intellectual results exhibited by good leaders through strategic plannings, and implementation of programmes with a direct impact on the people.

For the record so far, the NEDC has executed not less than 224 developmental projects in 112 local government areas across the six North-East states under the Rapid Response Intervention (RRI), as part of the comprehensive master plan to holistically rebuild the region based on the recommendations and demands of the states in the areas of education, health, social infrastructure, agriculture and WASH.

Furthermore, according to the managing director of the NEDC, the projects were part of the early recovery actions plans by the Commission to return simple Infrastructure which included, public and Institutional structure, boreholes and culvert that were ravaged by the insurgency to function again. It is also instructive to state that before this year, the NEDC has earmarked N6 billion to replenish the 10 percent annual grants on scholarship for students in the region. Under this arrangement, the beneficiaries include; 5 000 Bachelor’s degree, 336 Masters and 54 Doctorate Degree candidates. The funds would also be used for skills and acquisition training and provision of starter packs to 5 000 Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills, 5000 women and youths on entrepreneurship, and 2000 other vocational skills in each of the 1,028 wards in the Northeast.

One of the recent successful implementations was the launching of North-East Development Commission (NEDC) Education Endowment Fund (EEF) NEDC-EEF.

This is indeed brilliant and an indication that the infrastructural and economic development of North-East Nigeria is well on course.

It’s worthy of note that the operations of the NEDC fully commenced in 2019. So far, the NEDC has demonstrated itself as an agency, which has overpowered the Nigeria’s regressive cancer and exculpated itself from the cultured setbacks of non-performing federal agencies.

Concerning the recent update on the IDP’s care and responsibilities, One won’t doubt the intellect behind the handing over of the IDP wellness to be overseen by the NEDC. Putting the best hand in such position is a game changer that would see to effective transparency , collaboration, and successful actualization of the humanitarian mandate in bringing relief to the massive flood victims, because without putting NEDC in charge of such a sensitive position and situation, peace would definitely be a short-lived phenomenal in IDP Camp. This responsibility is not an alien situation to be handled by them, because it as been part of their mandate in bringing relief to victims of insurgency; by helping in resettlement, provision of basic needs and welfare, as well as their feeding.

The NEDC will continue to strive for a continual improvement in their operations, which is necessary, given the enormity of the task at hand.

No doubt that the NEDC is making life very meaningful to victims in Northeast through its interventions. The region is now wearing a better look cutting across the provision of social amenities, and exemplifying core transparency in achieving their mandate towards this great nation, Nigeria.

Adamu, a public affairs commentator, wrote this piece from Yola.