VP Shettima Lays Foundation for North-East Commission’s Headquarters

By Timothy Choji, Maiduguri

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Vice President Kashim Shettima, says the Nigerian government under the leadership of President Bola Tinubu is mindful of its moral obligation of restoring peace and prosperity to the North-East zone and other parts of the country.

He made the declaration in Maiduguri, Borno State capital on Wednesday, as he laid the foundation for the construction of a befitting headquarters for the North-East Development Commission (NEDC).   

According to the Vice President, “We are not gathered here today to merely witness the architectural ambition of an organization that has become a conduit of hope for the North-East.  

“Today is a demonstration of our promise and assurance of our commitment and a reminder of what this sub-region means to the nation. So, I am deeply honoured to witness the making of a history of service that will outlive each of us.”

He noted that the commencement of work on the construction of a corporate headquarters for the NEDC was a testament to President Tinubu’s commitment to fulfill his promises to the North-East.

“Today’s foundation laying ceremony is a step towards fulfilling President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s priority and promise to prioritize initiatives that can guard the interest of the North-East. This promise is not merely a political commitment but a moral obligation to the people who have endured so much and deserve nothing less than a future defined by peace, stability, and prosperity,” he stressed.

VP Shettima said the North-East Development Commission is a product of the people that should be nurtured because it also serves the interest of the nation.

“North-East Development Commission is a product of the people and it shall serve the interest of the nation. Every organization that aspires to improve the welfare and future of the society must grow its hope on the people it sets out to serve.

“It is this foundational principle that guides the NEDC and this institution therefore, embodies our collective resolve to transform the narrative of this region from one marred by despair and devastation to one defined by renewal and triumph,” he said.  

The Vice President emphasized that the NEDC has a critical role to play in the government’s quest to restore hope to the people of the zone.

“The NEDC is a critical engine driving the development of the North-East. In the face of adversity, it has demonstrated resilience, vision, and an unyielding dedication to its mission. This laying of new infrastructure for its head office doesn’t only bring it closer to the people but invites them to the desk of stakeholders in the implementation of programmes aimed at immense economic revitalization,” VP Shettima added.

Gombe State Governor, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, who is also the Chairman of Northern Governors Forum, who also graced the occasion, was full of praises for Vice President Kashim Shettima for mobilising support for the smooth operations of the NEDC.

“We are very proud of what you are doing as our leader in the North East, by ensuring the smooth take off of this project as well as enhancing the operations of the NEDC,” Governor Yahaya stated.

He called on Governors and other stakeholders of States of the Northeast to      contribute towards achieving the goals of the NEDC.

Devastating Effect

The Governor however lamented the devastating effect of the boko haram insurgency, which he said took the Northeast zone 50 years back.

“We therefore need to work hard to recover the lost grounds and with Vice President Shettima’s motivation and support, we can achieve that,” he added.

Acting Governor of Borno State, Usman Kadafur, applauded the good work so far done by the North East Development Commission (NEDC) in the six States of the region.

“The effort of the NEDC is adjudged a quite successful story and it is the pride of the various state governments across the North East region,” he said.

He said the boko haram insurgency had a pervasive impact on the region, with Borno State being the worst hit.

He however noted that the Borno State government took a decisive step by unfolding its comprehensive strategies that have since contributed a lot in addressing the menace.

New Chapter

On his part, Chairman of the governing Board of NEDC, retired Major General Paul Tarfa, said the laying of foundation for the construction of a befitting headquarters has opened a new chapter in the history of the Commission, symbolizing growth.

Earlier while welcoming guests, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Mohammed Goni Alkali, said the event was a milestone in the history of NEDC and the entire Northeast region.

He said the master plan for the Northeast was in tandem with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

General Tarfa further sought for cooperation and synergy among stakeholders in order to realize its objectives.

The Managing Director listed the facilities of the proposed NEDC headquarters to include offices, conference rooms, a sick bay and a humanitarian centre among others.

There were goodwill messages from the Chairmen of both the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Special Duties that supervises the activities of the NEDC who pledged more support for the Commission.

Apart from the laying of foundation for the construction of the NEDC headquarters, VP Shettima also flagged off the distribution of farming equipment and inputs, as he also inspected the ongoing construction of phase II of the 27.1 kilometre of Jere/Bowl road as part of the road networks in Mafa and Jere local governments of Borno State. 

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