Boko Haram: Nigerian lawmakers ask Buhari to establish North East Development Commission

FILE PHOTO: The victims were fleeing Boko Haram lingering attacks on their villages

The House of Representatives, Wednesday, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to establish a North East Development Commission, among other agenda, for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the insurgency ravaged part of Nigeria.

Following a bi-partisan motion titled, “Rehabilitation, Reconstruction, Recovery and Development of the North East Zone of Nigeria” by 88 lawmakers led by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, the House requested the executive to map out a comprehensive development agenda for the North-East zone, consisting of Borno, Adamawa, Yobe, Taraba, Bauchi and Gombe States, that will be implemented in phases.

This agenda must have specific targets, funding and deliverables that are guided by reconstruction of infrastructure as well as rehabilitation and repatriation of the people for social and economic development, the House resolved.

Mr. Dogara, from Bauchi State, personally presented the motion, stepping down from the speaker’s chair for his deputy, Lasun Yusuf.

Mr. Dogara noted that the terrorist activities of Boko Haram, since 2009, have devastated the North-East region and resulted in the deaths of thousands of people, displacement of about five million people, and disruption of education as well as other social and economic activities.

The proposed development commission, the House resolved, shall be backed with robust financial mechanisms which shall include a percentage of reserve funds, special contribution by companies, donor agencies, international NGOs, development partners and other funding options that meet the challenges facing the zone.

The lawmakers, therefore urged Mr. Buhari to convene an international donor conference or summit “as soon as possible.” They also asked the Federal Government to “consider building a North East Highway linking the capitals of the and major cities of the zone and reviving agriculture in the zone through completion of the South Chad Irrigation Project -which is one of the largest in Africa with 22 million depending on it – and other agricultural projects in order to open up the economies and fast track the socio-economic development of the zone. ”

The House further asked Mr. Buhari to give priority attention to rebuilding of schools and facilitate scholarships to university level to students from the zone.

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