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Nigeria Commited To North East’s Economic Revival, Says VP Shettima 

Shettima says the only way to reclaim and shape the narrative of the North East is if everyone stands together.

Nigeria’s Vice President Kashim Shettima has reaffirmed the federal government’s unwavering commitment to driving economic revival and development in the North East zone of the country.

Shettima stressed that the only way to reclaim and shape the narrative of the North-East region is if everyone stands together.

The Vice President, who stated this on Wednesday while laying the foundation for the new headquarters building of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) in Maiduguri, declared that the event was a demonstration of President Bola Tinubu’s promise, an assurance of his commitment, and a reminder of the importance of the North-East region to the nation.

Shettima, according to a release issued by his Media Assistant, Stanley Nkwocha, noted that it was a deep honour to be present to witness the commencement of a legacy of service that would outlast all those in attendance.

He said, “NEDC is a product of the people, and it shall serve the interests of the nation. It is this foundational principle that guides the NEDC. This institution, therefore, embodies our collective resolve to transform the narrative of this region—from one marred by despair and devastation to one defined by renewal and triumph.

“Today is a demonstration of our promise, an assurance of our commitment, and a reminder of what this sub-region means to the nation”.

The Vice President explained that the foundation-laying ceremony was a step towards fulfilling President Tinubu’s promise to prioritise initiatives that safeguard the interests of the North East region.

According to him: “This promise is not merely a political commitment but a moral obligation to the people who have endured so much and deserve nothing less than a future defined by peace, stability, and prosperity”.

Shettima stressed that the new head office surpasses mere infrastructure, embodying the strength of the nation’s collective will to rebuild, restore, and overcome the challenges that have hindered the region’s progress.

His words: “This head office shall symbolise the strength of our shared aspirations as a people with shared objectives. As we lay this foundation, we do so with a vision of a North-East that is vibrant, resilient, and forward-looking.

“We do so imagining our contributions to building a nation where every child has access to quality education, where healthcare is accessible to all, where infrastructure supports thriving economies, and where peace and security are the bedrock of daily life”.

The Vice President also inspected progress on the first phase of construction on the  27km Jere Bowl Road Network in Mafa/Jere local government area, just as he also performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the second phase of the project.

The projects, Shettima noted, reaffirm the federal government’s commitment to the development and prosperity of Borno State.

“This project symbolizes our dedication to improving the lives of our people, enhancing security, and fostering economic growth. It is a testament to our unwavering resolve to build a Nigeria where every citizen, regardless of their location, has the opportunity to thrive,” he emphasized.

On the significance of the project, the Vice President stated: “A robust road network accelerates the process of urbanization. As rural areas become more accessible, we will witness the development of new urban centers, leading to better access to education, healthcare, and other essential services.

“Each road we construct supports security, commerce, and agriculture. They enhance the standard of living for our people. Without a reliable network of roads, we cannot fulfil our promises to the people, nor can we sustain our democracy. The full participation of remote communities in our nation’s development depends on a dependable road network”.

Underscoring the socio-economic importance of Borno State to the North East region, Shettima further stated that the “economic agenda of President Tinubu is rooted in supporting each state of the federation in achieving its objectives and fulfilling our promises to the nation.

“Borno State holds a pivotal role in our nation’s economy and will always remain a top priority in our efforts to stabilize and promote unity and peace across the nation,” he added.

Earlier, Gombe State Governor, Inuwa Yahaya, who is also the Chairman of the Northern States Governors’ Forum, praised the Vice President for mobilising support for the smooth operations of the NEDC.

“We are very proud of what you are doing as our leader in the North East by ensuring the smooth take-off of this project as well as enhancing the operations of the NEDC,” Governor Yahaya stated.

He called on Governors and other stakeholders from the North East states to work towards achieving the goals of the NEDC.

The Governor however lamented the devastating effect of the Boko Haram insurgency, which he said took the North East zone 50 years backwards.

“We therefore need to work hard to recover the lost grounds, and with Vice President Shettima’s motivation and support, we can achieve that,” he added.

Also speaking, Acting Governor of Borno State, Usman Kadafur, applauded the good work so far done by the North East Development Commission (NEDC) in the six states of the region.

“The effort of the NEDC is adjudged a quite successful story and it is the pride of the various state governments across the North East region,” he said, regretting that the Boko Haram insurgency had a pervasive impact on the region, with Borno State as the worst hit.

He however noted that the Borno State government took a decisive step by unfolding comprehensive strategies that have since contributed a lot in addressing the menace.

On his part, Chairman of the Governing Board of NEDC, Major General Paul Tarfa (rtd), said the laying of the foundation for the construction of a befitting headquarters has opened a new chapter in the history of the Commission, symbolizing growth.

Earlier in his welcome address, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Mohammed Alkali said the event was a milestone in the history of NEDC and the entire North East region.

He noted that the master plan for the North East is in tandem with the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Tinubu and further sought for cooperation and synergy among stakeholders in order to realize its objectives.

Alkali listed the facilities of the proposed NEDC headquarters to include offices, conference rooms, a sick bay, and a humanitarian centre, among others.

There were goodwill messages from the Chairmen of both the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Special Duties, whose committees supervise the activities of the NEDC, even as they pledged more support for the Commission.

Also on Wednesday, the Vice President flagged off the distribution of farming equipment and inputs.

Deji Elumoye in Abuja 

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