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Group commends NEDC massive project execution in North East

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By Francesca Iwambe, Abuja

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A coalition of 21 civil society groups in Nigeria, the Public Accounting Watch (PAW), has praised the North East Development Commission (NEDC) for executing numerous strategic projects across the sub-region.

The group led by Dr. Okey Azikiwe said it undertook a one-week independent tour of projects executed by the interventionist agency and discovered how much it has done in the last few years without media hype.

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The group which toured the northeast between January 9th and 17th concluded that the Mohammed G. Alkali-led agency has fulfilled its mandate to coordinate “the resettlement, rehabilitation, integration and reconstruction of infrastructure for victims of terrorism as well as tackle the menace of poverty, illiteracy, ecological challenges in the North-Eastern states and other related matter”.

Azikiwe said the NEDC has ushered a new era of peace, progress, and prosperity by seemingly providing support and succor to the people.

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According to him, the North East Stabilisation and Development Master Plan (NESDMP) is already yielding dividends, reviving economic activities in the zone.

He revealed that numerous projects, programs, and schemes to promote and facilitate the physical and socio-economic development of the sub-region are being implemented on the ground as seen during their inspection tour.

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Azikiwe noted that the NEDC has touched on numerous aspects including education, health, housing, and water supply among other infrastructure developments.

With the North East Education Endowment Fund, he said over 20,000 natives have benefited annually from the agency’s drive to resuscitate the region’s “devastated education sector” and rebuild the human capital.

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He further revealed that the 18 mega schools across member states are well on track with 16 classrooms, six laboratories, and 480-capacity hostels in every location.

He added that the commission instituted an Education Endowment Fund for building human capital in the region through scholarships, short-term capacity building, improvement of basic education, etc.

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The group said it sighted the multi-million edifice constructed at the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) that would be used as the Centre for the Study of Violent and Extremism (CSVE).

Azikiwe said that the agency has gone a step further to train and empower young people on ICT, power, digital vehicular inspection as well as vocational skills.

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He said that the NEDC has completed thousands of housing projects across the states, including 1,000 units for Internally Displaced Persons in the Ngowom community, Borno State.

In its bid to improve mobility, connect other communities, enhance livelihood and improve security and agricultural productivity, Azikiwe added that the NEDC is constructing countless roads, including the 32km Garkida-Dabna project in Adamawa.

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He added that the NEDC has shown its commitment to healthcare with numerous interventions.

“The Borno State specialist hospital, the federal neuropsychiatric hospital, the 7 division military hospital Maimalari Cantonment and the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH ), and others are addressing the challenges in the health sector,” he said.

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“The agency recently took over from the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) the responsibilities of routine food distribution to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in designated camps, host and liberated communities in Borno and Adamawa States.”

According to Azikiwe, this has decoupled the resources deployed by NEMA giving impetus to further deliver relief support to persons in need in the event of sudden onset disasters nationwide including in the North East region.

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He said its research showed that nearly 25,000 households of IDPs in Borno alone currently benefit from routine food rations by NEDC.

In terms of water supply, Azikiwe said the NEDC has rehabilitated and upgraded supply in towns affected by insurgency in collaboration with the World Bank-funded Multi-Sectoral Crisis Recovery Project (MCRP).

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The coalition, therefore, passed a vote of confidence on the Alkali-led agency, adding that it has effectively tackled the menace of poverty, illiteracy, and ecological challenges in the North-Eastern states.

Azikiwe said even more impressive is the fact that the NEDC has gone about its job with transparency, accountability, and diligence.

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He, however, urged other agencies to follow the NEDC example if the nation is to attain the level Nigerians desire.

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Speaker Tunis Pledges Support For ECOFEPA

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By Gloria Ikibah

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Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Dr. Sidie Mohammed Tunis, has pledged his unflinching support for the ECOWAS Female Parliamentarians Association Network ECOFEPA in its attempts to increase participation for self-development in politics and entrepreneurship.

Speaker Tunis who stated this at the formal opening of ECOFEPA Women and Youth Leadership symposium, on the sidelines of the Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Guinea Bissau, with the theme: Unleashing the potentials of Women and Youth in Politics and Entrepreneurship; asserted that the meeting epitomizes the action stage for women’s involvement in decision-making bodies.

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He also commended ECOFEPA for always beaming their search light on issues that affect women and youth in the ECOWAS Sub-region and for firmly reinforcing the need to mentor the next generation of decision makers to bridge existing gaps and bestow sound political and decision-making legacies to them, reaffirming that until they as Members of Parliament replicate ourselves in the younger generation in multiple dimensions to deliver a democratic system that is anchored on good governance and societal growth and development, they cannot credit themselves for success.

Dr. Tunis acknowledged that the event amplifies ECOFEPA’s deliberate resolve to consistently pursue the dreams of its founding Members and recommend for members of Parliament to track generational transfer of knowledge, skills and all it takes to tackle the challenges of the future ahead.

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In her address, the 2nd Vice President of ECOFEPA, Madam Gabriella Fernandes, commended the ECOWAS Commission for its outstanding support in enhancing the activities of the association to achieve its goals for women’s integration and empowerment in politics.

She said that the resources mobilized by the ECOWAS Commission will allow the association to host its upcoming symposium in Togo March 2023.

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Hon. Fernandes reiterated that the symposium will spark the beginning of efforts to launch their projects and synchronize activities in the areas of leadership and entrepreneurship, which have the propensity to boomerang and catapult women’s advancement into decision-making in the ECOWAS region.

Earlier, the Youth Representative for the West Africa Youth Assembly, Mamadu Djalo, said everyone is aware of the social pressure and barriers that women and youth face daily, in trying to climb up to the political power, and employed men in Africa who control the political powers, to ensure that such power is balanced.

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According to Djalo, Women and youth are very isolated for too long, and that there is need for the men to work together with both youth and Women to fill the sense of belonging, as the deliberation cannot be realistic without the participation of the youth and women.

She therefore called for the creation of a youth parliament in order to give them a voice.

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Again, one injured as container crushes bus in Oshodi

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By Francesca Iwambe

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A 20-ft container crushed a commercial bus in the Oshodi area of Lagos State on Wednesday afternoon, injuring a commercial bus driver.

It was gathered that this is the latest container-related accident experienced in the state in the space of three days.

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Eye witnessed confirmed that Wednesday’s accident at Oshodi was caused by a brake failure.

While the passengers in the bus were said to have escaped without an injury, the same could not be said of the bus driver whose degree of injury could not be ascertained as of press time.

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Eight people were crushed to death by a 20-ft container that fell off a truck in the Ojuelegba area of Lagos on Sunday.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the Ojuelegba tragedy, a 40-ft container fell off another truck in the Dopemu area of the state on Monday, causing traffic on the road.

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Breaking: Chairman, MiddleBelt Forum Commodore Dan Suleiman is dead

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Chairman MiddleBelt Forum, Commodore Dan Suleiman is dead.

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A source close to his family revealed to Naijablitznews.com that the Commodore suddenly fainted in his house and passed on.

Details shortly…

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