by Cyril Okonkwo
Nigeria’s Vice President, Kashim Shettima has inaugurated the reconstituted Board and Management of the North East Development Commission
He tasked the new board to prioritize access to quality education, healthcare and economic opportunities, noting that “Today, we must remember that development is not merely about bricks and mortar.”
The Vice President gave the charge in his remarks at the inauguration of the board and management of the NEDC at the Presidential Villa on Wednesday.
VP Shettima who emphasized the importance of human capital development said progress “Is also about empowering minds, cultivating talent, and fostering an environment where dreams can flourish.
“The commission can only guarantee the safety of the emerging and future generations if it nurtures the seeds that will produce them. For Nigeria to regain its stability, this commission must refuse to be extinguished even in the face of adversity, as it has since its establishment,” the Vice President noted.
The VP said the inauguration of the new management was not merely a political protocol but the renewal of the nation’s hope, the making of a legacy and a testament to the commitment of the Tinubu administration to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the region.
He reminded the members that “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s investment in the human capital and development trajectory of the North-East fuels the enthusiasm with which he has prioritized the affairs of the NEDC.”
Vice President Shettima then commended the efforts of the immediate past board, stressing that “I have no doubt that the leadership of this commission is prepared to shoulder the trust placed upon it by the government, as it has done in the past years.
“Your impressive fiscal discipline and financial transparency, which have resulted in a credit balance of N222.9 billion in your coffers in the wake of the second quarter of 2023, are marks of the managerial expectations and character for which NEDC is known.
“I appeal to each of you, for the people summon us. We must don our combat gear to fulfill our promise of preventing any lapses in our intervention, providing the people an escape from undeserved realities. We must restore the glories of the North-East as a vast land of history and culture, and crafts and industry,” the VP tasked the new board.
VP Shettima then appealed to leaders and the people of the northeast region to support the new board and management to deliver on its mandate of transforming the region, noting that “This is a journey we cannot afford to undertake divided.”
In his remarks, the Chairman of the NEDC board, Major General Paul Tarfa (Retired), thanked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for finding them worthy of service, assuring that the present board will among other things, focus on implementing human capital development projects in line with the “Renewed Hope Agenda”.
Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Zulum, who spoke to State House correspondents after the inauguration, said the new board of the NEDC was expected to the board to shift focus from short and medium-term solutions to longer term solutions.
Members of the inaugurated board present at the event included the MD of the Commission, Mohammad Alkali; Gambo Maikomo, member (North-East Taraba); Abdullahi Abbas member (North-West Kano); Steven Tsav member (North-Central, Benue); Mutiu Lawal-Areh Member (South-West, Lagos); Samuel Oni Ebo Member (South-East, Abia); Frank Owhor, member (South-South, Rivers); Musa Yashi, Executive Director Humanitarian Affairs (North-East Bauchi); Ahmed Yahaya, Executive Director, Operations, (North-East Gombe), and Abubakar Iliya, Executive Director Admin and Finance, (North-East, Yobe).