Different communities in Gombe State are excited by the quality projects the North East Development Commission (NEDC) is undertaking, which are addressing their most pressing problems.
A press release that was signed by the National President, North East Youths and Elders Peoples’ Forum, (NEYEPF), Mr Salihu Magaji, said that the “projects are physically for anyone to come and see and even to touch and feel it, they have been completed awaiting commissioning,”
They included: Gombe – solar installation at Specialist Hospital; Kaltungo – Snake Antivenom; Billiri – Farm Service Center at Ladoungur; Akko – Farm service centre at Kalshingi; Kwami – Farm service centre at Dukul; Dukku – Farm service centre at Dukku; Balanga – Farm service centre at Gelengu; Funakaye – Renovation of PHC at Bodour; Ashaka Gari, Abuja; Nafada – Renovation of PHC at Gadi, Shaganawo, Tashan kalgo; Yemaltu Deba – Renovation of Junior Staff Quarters at CGSS Dadin Kowa and in Shongom – Upgrade of PHC to the cottage hospital.
“A thousand buildings were completed in Borno State, while construction of 500 houses each would be awarded in Yobe, Bauchi, Adamawa and Gombe on Wednesday, October 6, 2021,” he explained.
Magaji stated that the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of the 500 Mass Housing Units in Gombe State is to take place on the same day.
In addition, the forum disclosed that there would be a flag-off of the distribution of food and non-food items to address the rapidly deteriorating food insecurity situation in the Northeast region, especially in Gombe State.
The NEDC would also commission Primary Health Cares (PHCs) constructed to provide more access to health facilities in the following places like Nafada – Renovation of PHC at Gadi, Shaganawo, Tashan kalgo, Shongom – Upgrade of PHC to cottage hospital and Yemaltu Deba – Renovation of Junior Staff Quarters at CGSS Dadin Kowa.
The NEDC was established to address developmental challenges in the Northeast region and to restore the means of livelihood of the people, following the effects of over 12 years-long insurgencies as a result of activities of Boko Haram in the region.
The effects of insurgency 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 the neighbouring Northeastern States hundreds settled in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the states.
When the commission was established part of its mandate included rehabilitation and reconstruction of destroyed homes and commercial premises of citizens in the region.
As a result of the appointment of a hard-working leader who is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (MD/CEO) of NEDC, Mr Mohammed Goni Alkali, when he assumed duty carefully studied the situation and came up with so many reliable plans in order to ameliorate the hardships being encountered by the citizens.
“Investigations by experts revealed that the stock of houses in the northeast states before the insurgency was about 4 million, out of which over 500,000 structures (houses and commercial premises) were destroyed or irreparably damaged. 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).”
It would be recalled that sometimes in 2019, because of the confidence he has on 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.
Alkali delivered a town with all social amenities, these are all the efforts of the commission to reflect on its mandate, and the decision to replicate the same in the other five states of the region by the construction of 500 houses in each state.
Alkali started the construction of 500 houses to other states in the North-east when he started 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.”
“We have observed that not only NEDC Model Mass Housing is constructing in Yobe, but there will also be Mega Schools, the Gujba-Ngalda road project and graduation of the third batch of ICT trainees.
On mega schools, with the construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of Education Sector Infrastructure to redress the high deficit in classroom blocks in both primary and secondary schools throughout the northeast region.
This deficit meant that the region has the lowest literacy rate and highest poverty index in the country. Low literacy and high poverty are recognised by experts to be among the root causes of the violent insurgency that bedeviled the region for twelve years and the situation was further exacerbated by the large-scale destruction of schools and losses in the lives of youths, teachers, students etc.
Alkali studied the effects of the destruction of schools, especially where they have not been rehabilitated throughout the decade of insurgency, which resulted in the truncation of the education of primary and secondary school students, and even where schools remained standing, widespread poverty coupled with insecurity rendered an estimated 600,000 young people unable to go beyond the primary or secondary school levels.
As such, millions of the out of school children in the region remained uneducated, justifying the need for massive intervention in the development of school infrastructure.
He resolved to construct three composite mega schools or upgrade existing ones in each state of the region, thus making eighteen, one in each of the Senatorial District. We are also going to compliment the physical structure with soft support like teachers’ training, curriculum upgrade, e.t.c.
On the flag-off of the distribution of food and non-food items, the issue of imminent food insecurity in the region had been a matter of discourse for a long time.
Alkali handed over bags of rice (25kg) 12,000 Gallons of vegetable oil, 10,000Bags of sugar 2,000, cartons of spaghetti, 3,000 cartons of macaroni and donated non-food items, blanket PCS 2,000 (Pcs), Mats 2,000 (Pcs), mosquito nets 2,000 (Pcs), mosquito hand band 10,000(Pcs).”
“In the area of ICT training in the region NEDC trained 2,400 youths in two batches across the six states and donated equipped infectious diseases laboratory for the testing of COVID–19 and other diseases. Which was commissioned in Yobe, Bauchi and Taraba States while Adamawa and Gombe States will be done soon.”