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The Northeast Development Commission has held a State-level engagement and consultative meeting with Gombe State Stakeholders on the North-East Stabilisation and Development Masterplan, which will contain programmes and schemes that will promote, facilitate the physical and socio-economic development of the Zone.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the NEDC, Mr. Mohammed G. Alkali, said the North-East Stabilisation and Development Masterplan would estimate the time and costs of implementing programmes and schemes in the zone.
He said the NEDC Act requires the Commission to develop a Master Plan based on the needs assessment of the zone to achieve the aim of its establishment.
“In order to come up with a robust Regional Master Plan, we consider consultations with State Stakeholders as very pertinent towards producing a credible and comprehensive roadmap for recovery and sustainable socio-economic development of the North East,” said Mr. Alkali.
He said the joint Consultative Meeting was with all representative groups of Stakeholders in the State Ministries, Departments and Agencies, Legislature, Judiciary, LGA Officials, Security Agencies, Traditional and Religious Leaders, Private Sector, among others.
Mr. Alkali said the meeting would be followed by the finalisation of a Draft Master Plan, which would eventually be presented for validation.
“The essence of having these diverse Stakeholders under one roof here, therefore, is to harness their individual and collective inputs to enrich the process and align with inclusiveness and bottom-up policy of NEDC,” said Mr. Alkali.
He said the proposed 10-year NESDMP consisted of 10 Pillars and would encompass the relevant aspects of the Development Plans & Policies of the Gombe State Government and those of other Partners.
According to him, the progress made so far in the Master Plan Project during the meeting will be presented to Stakeholders and their inputs solicited for inclusion in the Plan.
Discussions during the technical session were expected to focus on Schemes, Programmes and Projects that should be included in the Master Plan to alleviate poverty and create prosperity in Gombe State and the North East Zone.
Other discussions will be on the concerns regarding the implementation of the Master Plan when completed, including its adaptability and funding windows, as well as strategies to be adapted to ensure purposeful collaboration, cooperation, coordination and effective integration between NEDC, Gombe State and other Partners.
Recalled that the NEDC was established by President Muhammadu Buhari as a direct response to the devastation and violence caused by insurgency in the North-East Zone, charged with the responsibility to recover, stabilise and develop the region, among others.
Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya thanked the North-East Development Commission for adopting a participatory and consultative approach to decision-making and for organising the important engagement meeting in Gombe.
“This is a testimony to the commitment of the Commission’s Management to developing a robust stabilization and development masterplan for the region,” Governor Yahaya said.
He said the Commission had since inception recorded many laudable achievements, especially in areas of humanitarian assistance, reconstruction and rehabilitation of communities affected by the war, but that it was necessary to have a comprehensive masterplan that would guide its future interventions.
Governor Yahaya said this would give NEDC, a sound footing and ensure that it delivers on its statutory mandates,
“The production of this masterplan through this inclusive engagement process will certainly yield workable and acceptable strategies for the commission’s activities in this sub-region.
Such a feat will be a milestone and a big leap in our collective history and achievements.
It will give us a road map for the transformation of critical sectors enshrined in the North-East Development Commission’s mandates,” said Governor Yahaya.
He said without a good roadmap that reflects the true yearnings and aspirations of the people of the sub-region, it would be difficult for the Commission to achieve the primary objectives of coordinating the resettlement, rehabilitation, integration and reconstruction of infrastructure in the zone.