Journalism of Courage

Former U.S Ambassador urges Citizen participation in decision making as Senate confirms NEDC board

A former U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, has urged the board of the North East Development Commission,  (NEDC) to promote community unity and stabilization.

Campbell who served twice in Nigeria, as political counselor from 1988 to 1990, and as ambassador from 2004 to 2007 in a recent message at the U.S Council on Foreign Relations said NEDC should regularly consult with the ordinary people in the region (for whom it was created) in determining and prioritizing their needs. It should ensure that solutions take into account the culture and customs of those it seeks to help, and its economic initiatives should empower ordinary people.

This comes as the Nigerian Senate on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Paul Tarfa (rtd.) as Chairman of the North East Development Commission. The Senate also confirmed the appointment of Mohammed Alkali as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NEDC, alongside nine members.


Gen Tarfa, Chairman NEDC

This followed presentation of report by Chairman, Senate Committee on Special Duties, Sen. Abdul Aziz Nyako on confirmation of nominations into the board of the commission.

The other nominees are Musa Yashi, Executive Director Humanitarian Affairs; Muhammed Jawa, Executive Director Administration and Finance; Omar Mohammed, Executive Director Operations.

Others are David Kente, member representing North East Zone; Asmau Mohammed, member representing North West Zone; Benjamin Adanyi, member representing North Central Zone,  Olawale Oshun, member representing South West Zone; Dr. T. Ekechi member representing South East; and Obasuke McDonald,  member representing South South.


Asmau Mohammed, member representing North West

President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law, the establishment of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) in October 2017. The NEDC’s mission is to lead the reconstruction and development of Nigeria’s northeast. It is likely to consolidate and replace other initiatives such as the Victims Support Fund (VSF), Presidential Initiative on the North East (PINE), and Presidential Committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI).

The funding of the Commission will come from various sources including the Federal Government of Nigeria, international bilateral donors, the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the UN, the European Union, USAID, UKAID/DFID, as well as local donors.

The Leader of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, congratulated the National Assembly for passing the bill and Executive, for assenting to the bill and sending list of board nominees for confirmation.
“The people nominated here are qualified and experienced and prepared to hit the ground running.
“So, I urge the committee to monitor the commission’s take off to ensure the right things are done. We have learnt from issues of non smooth take off of Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC) so that the NEDC will learn from that. The commission needs urgent take off.
The Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu also congratulated the nominees, saying “the emergence of the commission was a sign that the national assembly had concern for happens in Nigeria irrespective of region and other indices.
“The NDDC bill was initiated in the National Assembly. It was vetoed by the Executive but we overturned the veto. It is the same spirit that led to the initiation of the NEDC. The smooth running of NDDC is due to so much protocol.
” So,from the day one of the take off of NEDC, the national assembly should start oversight to give life to North East and hope to other Nigerians doing business in those areas and I hope the pioneers would lay good example.”
In his remarks, the President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, congratulated the nominees and urged them hit the ground running.
He also emphasised the need for oversight of the commission to ensure proper implementation of projects.




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