NEDC: The spiraling security challenges facing Nigeria in recent times have made the country seem like a nation on the wrong side of the world’s divide.
Equally, a toxic mix of security threats, Boko Haram insurgency, armed banditry, kidnapping, cattle rustling amongst other forms of criminalities is threatening to tear Africa’s most populous nation and it’s largest economy apart. Even the concerted efforts, as it seems, to stem the tide of insecurity in the land as well as the rebuilding of areas destroyed by insurgents, are all being frustrated.
However, when the North East Development Commission (NEDC), was established by the Federal Government after agitations by opinion leaders, Nigerians, especially people of the North Eastern States of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe, the epicenter of Boko Haram insurgents, and many within and outside the country breathed a sigh of relief. But alas, the NEDC has, so far, not sustained that relief.
Some top politicians, including some members of the current management of the Commission have been blamed for the failure of NEDC to achieve the objectives for which it was established. Some of them have been accused of “reckless misappropriation of the NEDC fund that warrants full-scale investigation by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) or the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offence Commission (ICPC).
Take for instance, report by BornoTV.com claim that the failure of the commission to stem the tide in the region has rather given room for the upsurge in the recent Boko Haram attacks.
Whereas the Commission is charged with the responsibility to rebuild, amongst other things, receive and manage funds from the Federation Account and International Donors for the purpose of resettling the internally displaced persons, rehabilitate and reconstruct roads, houses and business premises of victims of insurgency, as well as saddled with the responsibilities of tackling the menace of poverty, illiteracy, ecological problems and many other related environmental or developmental challenges in the affected North-East States, it has been adjudged by some as haven failed in achieving these.
The commission has been described, in some quarters, as fallen short of these responsibilities and this, some have argued, casts a shadow on President Muhammadu Buhari-lead administration’s drive to bring succour to the lives of no fewer than 33 million people affected by the insurgency.
Jibril Wakil writes from Abuja.