News

September 2, 2021

NEDC hands over 1,000 Housing Units to IDPs in Ngom village of Borno

NEDC hands over 1,000 Housing Units to IDPs in Ngom village of Borno

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…as Zulum seeks more partnership, special support to surrendered terrorists

By Ndahi Marama, Maiduguri

The North East Development Commission, NEDC under the ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development on Thursday commissioned and handed over 1,000 newly constructed housing units at Ngom village to Borno State Government for resettlement of thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

This is even as Governor Babagana Umara Zulum seek special support from the ministry in areas of roads and housing constructions in facilitating efforts of reintegrating thousands of surrendered Boko Haram members into the society.

These were disclosed at the formal handing over of 1,000 Ngom Mass Housing Units, flagging- off the distribution of food and non-food items, commissioning of Burn Centre at University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, UMTH, Ground Breaking ceremony for the construction of 300 -Seater Auditorium of the Centre for the Study of Violent Extremism at University of Maiduguri and Graduation ceremony of the Batch B Graduands of NEDC Information, Communication Technology (ICT) Training program at the Multi-Purpose Hall, Government House, Maiduguri.

Zulum who acknowledged the numerous interventions done to the state by the NEDC expressed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, security agencies, development partners and the people of the state for their support and cooperation in defeating Boko Haram terrorists.

His words, “On behalf of the government and the good people of Borno State, we appreciate the unflinching supports we have been getting from NEDC and the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, but like Oliver Twist, the state government want to seek for special support from the ministry in areas of roads and housing constructions to facilitate efforts of reintegrating thousands of surrendered Boko Haram members into the society.

“We want the ministry to reconstruct Maiduguri- Damboa- Biu road, Khaddamari- Ngom road and a host of others.

“We also acknowledged the numerous interventions to the state by the NEDC, I want to express our sincere gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari, security agencies, development partners and the people of the state for their support and cooperation in defeating Boko Haram terrorists who are now coming out en masse and surrendering for peace to reign. Therefore, we need the total support from all and sundry in reintegrating our profiled, screened and non-hardened surrendered Boko Haram terrorists back into the society.” Zulum said.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the occasion who is also Chairman Senate Committee on Special Duties, Senator Abubakar Yusuf, said with the establishment of the Commission by President Muhammadu Buhari, his committee which has the mandate of oversight affairs of the NEDC, sat and deliberated in 2019, 2020 and 2021, in which funds were approved for smooth implementation and interventions on the current humanitarian challenges ravaging the people in the North East, especially Borno which is the epicentre of Boko Haram crisis.

He said, the committee is fully satisfied with numerous interventions of the NEDC in addressing most of the challenges in the region and called on the people to put in good use of the programs and interventions.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Faruq, who is the Special Guest of Honour, said, “establishment of NEDC as a brainchild of the present administration, was a demonstration of President Buhari’s political will in addressing food insecurity and restore livelihood to the people affected by the activities of insurgency in the region.”

She, therefore, assured people of the region, especially Borno that NEDC under her ministry will strive to ensure its keys into the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Resettlement initiatives of governor Babagana Zulum.

On her part, the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen and her counterpart from the Ministry of Education State, Chief Chukwu Emeka in their goodwill messages, thanked the federal and state governments of the six North-East states and other developing partners for their relentless efforts in giving hope to the hopeless, especially women and children who are more vulnerable groups in the society.

In his address, the Chairman NEDC, Major General Paul Tarfa Rtd, assured that NEDC under his watch which has come this far will do everything within its mandate to develop the region.

“Today is one of the greatest happiness in the history of NEDC since it was established. This programme we are witnessing demonstrated the return of relative peace in the region.

“I want to commend the untiring efforts and commitment demonstrated by President Muhammadu Buhari, our security forces, governments and people of the northeast towards defeating Boko Haram terrorists, the NEDC under my watch with support from Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and development partners will do everything possible to nip in the bud the challenges facing our people at the moment”. General Tarfa stated.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NEDC, Alhaji Goni Alkali in his keynote address, said, “In 2019, Mr President approved Special Presidential Intervention in Borno state (SPIB) to ameliorate the desperate situation that displaced communities in the state had found themselves in, through the construction of 10,000 houses and establishment of Technical and Vocational skills Acquisition Centres for the IDPs amongst others.

“As part of the execution of the SPIB, it was resolved that the NEDC undertakes the construction of the first 1,000 houses from its own resources and fund the equipment of the Technical and Vocational/Skills Acquisition Centres around the state at an estimated cost of N2 billion.

“I am glad to mention that, the construction of the 1,000 houses at Ngom site has been virtually completed and contracts for equipment of the Vocational and Technical Skills Centres have been awarded and awaiting delivery.

“The 1,000 houses we unvieled today consist of blocks of four units of two-bedroom bungalows with veranda and courtyards in a cluster arrangement. Each block sits on four hundred square metres, with a perimeter fence and ample space for other home activities.

“The following socio-economic facilities such as solar-powered street lights, four industrial solar-powered Bore-holes (Reticulated), school, market, police station, motor parks were provided in addition to plant over 3,000 economic trees.

“Towards making the resettlement homely and economically sustainable at Ngom, the Commission is also providing 2,000 bags of 25kg rice, 2,000 cartons of spaghetti, 2,000 gallons of vegetable oil, 5,000 pieces of blankets and 5,000 pieces of mattresses.

“Others include 5,000 pieces of mats, 4,000 sets of children wear, 4,000 mosquito nets, 5,000 pairs of slippers, 2,000 pieces of men brocade and 1,000 cartons of Anti-septic soaps.

“On ICT, already, 2,400 youths were trained across the 6-north east states. During the last ceremony on February 22, 2021, here in this hall, we graduated 166 candidates and promised to train another set of 200 beneficiaries in the second Batch. I am glad to report that Borno state surpassed the number by 18 candidates. Therefore, the Commission has successfully graduated 384 beneficiaries out of the 400 intended to be trained during the 2 Batches and we are here today to witness a promise fulfilled.

“Likewise, in our continuous support to the IDPs and other vulnerable groups in the society, we are also donating 10,000 pieces of blankets, 10,000 mats, 5,000 women wears, 5,000 children wears, 5,000 pairs of slippers, 2,000 mosquito nets, 20,000 pieces of mosquito hand band, 5,000 hand sanitisers and 2,000 cartons of medicated soap.

“In keeping with its pragmatic and proactive approach to healthcare matters, when approached by the management of University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, UMTH, the commission undertook and funded the establishment of the first-ever Burn Centre in the whole of the northeast region to address the incidences of burn injuries as a result of incessant attacks on the innocent people and other incidental activities. The Hon Minister will formally commission the Centre and hand it over to the UMTH. A similar one is being established at the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, Adamawa state.

“To make the Burn Centre and other facilities at the UMTH more functional, the commission will provide 500KVA Power Generator snd 10,000 litres of diesel for a start.

“Towards curbing insurgency and incidence of violent extremism, the Commission sponsored the construction of a 300 -Seater Auditorium of the University of Maiduguri for the study of Violent Extremism, which the Honourable Minister will lay its foundation today”. Alkali stated. 

The occasion was witnessed by the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Garbai Elkanemi, top government functionaries from the local, state and national levels, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria (UN- OHCA) Dr Edwin Kallon among others.