September 02, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government has unveiled a strategic master plan for the recovery, stabilisation and long-term socioeconomic development of the North-Eastern region of the country.
The ten-year Master plan is built on eleven pillars which comprise the key sectors needed for the steady return and sustainable development of the region.
The 11 Pillars are Peaceful Society, Leadership in Agriculture, Healthy Citizens, Educated Populace, Flourishing Trade, Productive Entrepreneurs, Purposeful Infrastructure, Industrialisation, Memorable Experience, Protected Environment, and Connected Region.
Unveiling the Master plan, in Abuja, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, said over thirty-one trillion naira (N31trn) is needed to implement the projects.
The SGF said there is a need for all Stakeholders in the Public and Private Sectors, Development Partners, especially Donors, to garner resources and invest optimally in the richly endowed, but least-exploited North-East Region.
“Going by the presentations earlier made here, it is noteworthy that the Commission, through the diverse consultations and engagements it undertook, has already identified its critical Stakeholders with whom it will implement the NESDMP.
“The NEDC Act mandates the Commission to liaise with Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies, States and Development Partners on the implementation of all measures approved in the Master Plan for the stabilisation and development of the North-East Zone by the Federal Government. It also requires the NEDC to interface with Development Partners Local or International and Nongovernmental Organisations to ensure synergy with other Stakeholders in line with the Master Plan.“
Mustapha added that the step towards rebuilding the North-East Region following the unfortunate Boko haram insurgency, is a fulfillment of the campaign promise made by President Buhari to the people of the North-East Geo-Political Zone.
“Undoubtedly, we can boldly say that NEDC has turned out to be one of the important projects of this administration”, he emphasised.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, maintained that the master plan is evidence-based.
“I recognise that the process of the elaboration of this master plan needed to be all engaging and encompassing, to ensure that the Programme’s being rolled out by the NEDC, meets the needs of the affected people in the region”, Farouq noted.
Represented by the National Coordinator, National Social Investment Programme, Dr Umar Bindir, the Minister called for similar synergy at the implementation phase.
The Governor of Borno State and Chairman, North-East Governors’ Forum, Babagana Umara Zulum, said that the Master plan is the most significant achievement of the NEDC since its inception, hence the need for the Commission to invest in strategic and transformational projects.
“This is because if properly and strategically implemented, it will not only complement what the Governors are doing in the States, by investing in transformational projects but also serve as a tipping point for the transformation of the region.
“It’s our collective aspirations. It has to be strategic in realising that the resources it has is limited and the significant percentage is time bound as it has only 7years to go. The investments and projects NEDC supports have to complement what the State Governments are doing and avoid repetition so that we can achieve the complementarity effects this investment is meant to serve the region.
“You need to constantly engage with State Governments not to only report on what you are doing, but importantly at the strategic level for advice, and cross-fertilisation of ideas and despite all political pressures, you must invest in areas that are very strategic, transformational and have long term impact in transforming the fortune of the region.
“Such as major highways, linking State capitals and with other national and international, rail networks, linking with other national and international, industrial gas pipeline, regional agricultural research and training institute, strategic human capital development”, Governor Zulum explained.
The Managing Director, North East Development Commission, Mohammed Alkali, said the Master plan contains over 500 Schemes, projects, and programmes.
“We are extremely delighted to present to you the compendium for the relevant, demand-driven, viable and sustainable Schemes, programmes, and projects, which all stakeholders can key into”, Alkali noted.