The Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) has commenced the building of a 500 housing units project aimed at providing accommodation for persons affected by the insurgency in selected communities of Yobe State, Northeast Nigeria.
Officials of the Commission were in Damaturu, capital of Yobe State, where Mai-Mala Buni, Governor of the state performed the foundation laying ritual alongside Mohammed Alkali, the Managing Director of the NEDC.
The NEDC executive said the 500-housing units project was initiated in line with the core mandate of the Commission which is to “address developmental challenges in the Northeast region and to restore means of livelihood of the people following the over 12 years of insurgency.”
Alkali said due to the “massive influx of people into the urban areas, most of the Internally Displaced Persons had to seek accommodation “at any available public spaces, homes, abandoned and uncompleted buildings and in some IDP camps across the state.”
He said it was in acknowledgment of these challenges faced by IDPs that the Commission activated its core mandate, which is “rehabilitation and reconstruction of destroyed homes and commercial premises of citizens in the region.”
Alkali recalled that the stock of houses in the Northeast states before the insurgency was about 4 million, out of which over 500,000 structures (houses and commercial premises) were destroyed or irreparably damaged.
“Even before the insurgency, there was a housing deficit in all the states of the region. Therefore, the insurgency only further aggravated the situation,” he said.
In Yobe State, he said the Commission has received an express approval of the state government on allocation of plots of land in Damaturu where 250 houses would be built; as well as in Buni-Yadi, Geidam, Potiskum, Gashua and Nguru towns where 50 houses will each be built.
He added that as part of the housing package, schools would be rebuilt or rehabilitated to redress the high deficit in classroom blocks in both Primary and Secondary Schools throughout the Northeast region.
“Consequently, the Commission resolved to construct three composite mega schools or upgrade existing ones in each state of the region, thus making 18, one in each of the Senatorial District.”
Alkali also said the Commission has resolved to construct a dilapidated road that links Mutai-Ngalda communities of Yobe State.
The commission had also distributed food and non-food items at a separate event after it was flagged off by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Sadiya Farouq who was represented by her Director Humanitarian Affairs, Ali Grema.
Responding to the gestures of the NEDC, Mai-Mala Buni, Governor of Yobe State said the 500-housing units project for selected Yobe communities was a “commendable drive by the NEDC which confirms our development pursuit in the state.”
Governor Buni said such complementary Interventions will certainly go a long way in impacting positively on the lives of people in the state.
“As you are aware, the Yobe State Government is committed to providing the needs of its citizenry as part of its effort of uplifting the general welfare of the people,” the Governor said.
The governor had also called on all contractors handling NEDC projects in Yobe State to ensure standards and quality delivery of work.
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