Vice President, Kashim Shettima has called on the North East Development Commission to expand the scope of its interventions in the northeast region to cover more road projects regardless of their status.
The Vice President stated this Saturday in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital at the official flag-off ceremony for the distribution of palliatives in the northeast region and the groundbreaking for the Jere Bowl road project.
The event also coincided with the 8th meeting of North East Governors’ Forum.
According to the Vice President, “I want to urge the NEDC board to expand the scope of its intervention to cover more road projects across the northeast region, including the Gombe-Bauchi, Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu and Gujiba-Biu roads, among many others.
“Though these roads are regarded as Trunk A roads, they will eventually be used by Nigerians, particularly the people of the northeast.”
The Vice President commended the NEDC board for its prudent management of resources and applauded the support of political leaders, including legislators from the north east region for standing firm with the commission.
While tracing the history of the crisis in the zone, Shettima decried the impact of the Boko Haram insurgency on the north east, noting that it has “inflicted damages in the northeast to the tune of 9 billion dollars. Borno alone has damages worth 6.8 billion dollars.”
“There are similar destructions across Adamawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Gombe and Taraba. If Northeast of Nigeria was to be treated as a nation, we are poorer than Chad, Afghanistan, Niger,” the VP added.
He commended the efforts of governors across the region for uniting the people despite their socio-political differences.
The Vice President said “the northeast is a kaleidoscope of colours made up of different people from different socio-political backgrounds. But, I want to commend our governors for coalescing these units into a single force irrespective of the differences in political and other backgrounds.”
The Vice President had earlier performed the official groundbreaking for the construction of the 22.5km Jere Bowl road network project, covering Jere and Mafa LGAs in Borno State, undertaken by the NEDC.
On the distribution of palliatives worth N15 billion to beneficiaries in 110 LGAs and 18 Senatorial districts across the north east region, the Vice President reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to the welfare of the people.
Items to be distributed to beneficiaries across the zone include mats, a variety of clothing materials for women and children, blankets, rice and vegetable oil, among others.