From Paul Orude, Bauchi
The North East Youths and Elders has expressed satisfaction with the efforts of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) headed by Mohammed Goni Alkali, saying its work is transforming the subregion where Boko Haram insurgents have displaced over two million people.
The leader of the group, Alhaji Salisu Magaji, gave the commendation in a press release issued made available to Daily Sun.
The Commission was established to address developmental challenges in the North East and to restore the means of livelihood of the people, following the effects of the over 12-year insurgency.
The sustained attacks of insurgents led to a massive influx of people into the urban areas with most of them taking shelter at any available public spaces, homes, Schools, huts, abandoned and uncompleted buildings, while many trooped to neighbouring states and settled in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across states in the sub-region.
NEDC was established with part of its mandate including rehabilitation and reconstruction of destroyed homes and commercial premises of citizens in the region.
‘1,000 housing units were completed in Borno State, while construction of 500 houses each was awarded in Yobe and Bauchi and today (Tuesday) witnessed the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of the 500 Mass Housing Units in Adamawa State, Magaji disclosed.
‘In addition, there will be flagging off of the distribution of Food and Non-food items to address the rapidly deteriorating food insecurity situation in the North East Region and in Adamawa State,’ he stated.
Magaji disclosed that while in Adamawa State, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of NEDC, Mohammed Goni Alkali, would commission and hand over the Burn Centre at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola which would cater for the high incidences of burn injuries and other associated incidences in the state.
‘Other projects awarded by the NEDC which would be commissioned and handed over to the state include the fully equipped Molecular Laboratory at the State Specialist Hospital, Yola. Alkali would also inspect the ongoing reconstruction work at the three destroyed bridges on the Mubi to Madagali Highway. There would also be inspection visits to some state government-owned Technology Skills Acquisition Centres currently slated for resuscitation and operationalization by the Commission,’ Magaji revealed.
Magaji said since taking office, Alkali carefully studied the situation and came up with many reliable plans in order to ameliorate the hardships being encountered by the people of the sub-region.
‘Investigations by experts revealed that the stock of houses in the North East states before the insurgency was about 4 million, out of which over 500,000 structures (houses and commercial premises) were destroyed or irreparably damaged, which Even before the insurgency, there was a Housing deficit in all the states of the region. Therefore, the insurgency only further aggravated the situation. In all of this, Borno State being the epicentre of the crisis is worse affected with the largest number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs),’ he said.
‘You would recall that sometimes in 2019, because of the confidence he has in Dr Alkali, President Muhammadu Buhari approved a special Presidential intervention in Borno State (SPIB) in order to reduce the desperate situation that displaced communities in the state had found themselves through the construction of 10,000 houses and the establishment of Technical and Vocational Skills Acquisition Centres for the IDPs amongst others, execution of the SPIB, it was resolved that the NEDC undertakes the construction of the first 1,000 houses and fully funded the equipping of the Technical and Vocational/Skills Centres around the state.
‘Dr Alkali constructed the first 1,000 Houses at Ngowom Village, Mafa Local Government of Borno State and handed over the Houses to the Governor of Borno State, Professor Baba Gana Umara Zullum and started the construction of 500 houses in other states in the North East, starting with Yobe where he performed the groundbreaking ceremony of building 250 houses; in Damaturu, in Buni Yadi, 50 houses; in Geidam, 50 houses; in Potiskum, 50 houses; in Gashua, 50 houses; in Nguru, 50 houses.
‘The types of Houses he is building are of the cluster block style which consists of blocks of four units of 2-bedroomed bungalows with veranda and courtyard, each block sits on four hundred square meters, with a fence separating each twin-facing houses, covered kitchens and toilets/bathrooms, and ample space for home living activities, adding that the facilities would also be provided with street lights, reticulated water supply system, commercial spaces among others.’
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