The North East Development Commission (NEDC) on Tuesday said it has initiated two projects in each of the 112 local government areas of the six states of the northeast sub-region.
NEDC Managing Director, Mohammed Goni Alkali, said this at the headquarters of the commission in Maiduguri, while hosting Chairmen of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) from the six States of Northeast, led by Amb. Ahmed Shehu, the Chairman of CSOs in Borno State.
He said: “We have 112 local government areas. We want to do two projects per local government and that gives us 224 projects, especially in education, health and water resources. I know we cannot achieve 100 percent, but if we achieve 77 percent, it is good.
“I understand that there are 1,058 wards in the six states of northeast. So, every year, we’re going to pick five persons in each of the wards to go to the University. Five multiplied by 1,000 is equal to 5,000.
“Human capital is development. We can develop people with ICT. That is why we are trying to establish ICT centres across the Northeast and to train and empower our youths so that they can pick up their lives from there.
“We will then go to those who cannot go for academic line like those who want to do vocational training. We will take another 5,000 people. About 15,000 will be benefiting from our scholarship every year.
“As we go on we will look at those who want to do their Masters or Ph.D, otherwise this problem can’t be solved because their parents cannot afford the school fees.
“Someone has to take up the challenge for a few years. We are going to develop schools and teachers because if you build schools without teachers forget about it. What we are going to do is to embark on massive teachers training. For me development is not just to build structures. It is something social that can impact people’s lives,” Alkali said.
He solicited the cooperation of the CSOs towards the NEDC by reaching out to the people to assess feedback on areas on intervention.
Earlier speaking, the leader of the delegation, Amb. Shehu urged the NEDC to involve the CSOs in the execution of its programmes, and avoid undue interference in the course of running the commission.
“Intervention should base on priorities and targeted beneficiaries in the region. Avoid digression from the mandate of the Commission and ensure that procurement process is transparent,” Shehu said.
He assured the NEDC of maximum support of the CSOs to ensure that the mandate of the Commission is achieved.
LEADERSHIP reports that the NEDC had previously hosted the Northeast Support Group , where their leader in Borno and Secretary of Borno Elders Forum, Alhaji Bulama Mali Gubio, had said that the expectation of the populace from the NEDC was high due to the high level of poverty in the zone, tasking the commission on youth empowerment and capacity building.