Bauchi Governor lays foundation of 500 housing units to be constructed by NEDC, flags off distribution of food, non-food items to IDPs
Bauchi State Governor, Senator Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir assisted by the MD/CEO of NEDC, Dr Goni Alkali laying the foundation stone of the 500 housing units to be constructed by NEDC in Bauchi
By Akanji Alowolodu, Bauchi
Bauchi State Governor, Sen Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir assisted by the MD/CEO of the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) has laid the foundation of the construction of 500 housing units in Bauchi state to be fully funded by the NEDC.
While speaking during the ceremony held at the site of the construction, Dungal village along the Bauchi – Jos, Bala Mohammed commended the NEDC for coming to the aid of the state in ameliorating the housing deficit.
The Governor added that with the construction of 500 housing units in Bauchi, it will complement the ongoing construction of 2500 housing units across the state through a collaboration with the Federal Government.
He stressed that the importance of houses for the people cannot be overemphasized because according to him, “we are doing everything possible to make sure that our get affordable but decent accommodation. We want to make sure we ameliorate the housing deficit”.
Bala Mohammed added that civil servants and other public servants will be given priority in the allocation of the houses because according to him, that is the only way to get the best out them.
The Governor then assured that all needed social amenities like schools, Police stations, markets and other things will be provided in all of the housing estates in order to make live comfortable for the residents of the areas.
Earlier, the MD/CEO of NEDC, Dr Mohammed Goni Alkali stated that the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) was established specifically to address developmental challenges in the North East subregion and to restore means of livelihood of the people, following the effects of over 12 years-long insurgencies as a result of activities of Boko Haram in the region .
He further said that the effects of insurgency led to a massive influx of people into the urban areas with most of them taking shelter at any available public spaces, homes, Schools, huts, abandoned and uncompleted buildings, while many trooped to neighboring North Eastern States just as hundreds settled in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the States.
According to him, when the Commission was established, part of its mandate included rehabilitation and reconstruction of destroyed homes and commercial premises of citizens in the Region.
He disclosed that Investigations by experts revealed that the stock of houses in the North Eastern states before the insurgency was about 4 million, out of which over 500,000 structures (houses and commercial premises) were destroyed or irreparably damaged, which Even before the insurgency, there was a Housing deficit in all the States of the Region.
“Therefore, the insurgency only further aggravated the situation while in all of this, Borno State being the epicentre of the crisis is worst affected with the largest number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), the MD/CEO disclosed.
According to him, “in 2019, President, Muhammadu Buhari approved a special Presidential intervention in Borno State (SPIB) in order to reduce the desperate situation that displaced communities in the state had found themselves through the construction of 10,000 houses and the establishment of Technical and Vocational Skills Acquisition Centres for the IDPs amongst others”.
Also approved was the execution of the SPIB, which was resolved that the NEDC undertakes the construction of the first 1,000 houses and fully fund the equipping of the Technical and Vocational/Skills Centres around the State.
The first 1,000 Houses were executed at Ngowom Village, Mafa Local Government of Borno State and handed over to the Governor of Borno State, Professor Baba Gana Umara Zullum, he disclosed.
The NEDC also delivered a town with all social amenities, all in the efforts of the Commission to reflect on its mandate, and the decision to replicate same in the other five states of the region by the construction of 500 houses in each state.
He further said that the NEDC has started the construction of 500 houses in other States in the North East starting with Yobe where the groundbreaking was performed with the building of 250 houses; in Damaturu, 50 in Buni Yadi, 50 in Geidam, 50 in Potiskum, 50 in Gashua, and 50 in Nguru.
The types of Houses the NEDC is building are of the cluster block style which consists of blocks of four units of 2-bedroom bungalows with veranda and courtyard, each block sits on four hundred square meters, with a fence separating each twin-facing houses, covered kitchens and toilets/bathrooms, and ample space for home living activities, adding that the facilities would also be provided with street lights, reticulated water supply system, commercial spaces among others
The NEDC also embarked On the construction of MEGA Schools , with the Construction, Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of Education Sector Infrastructure to redress the high deficit in classroom blocks in both Primary and Secondary Schools throughout the North-East subregion.
This deficit meant that the region is the part of the country with the lowest literacy rate and highest poverty index in the country taking into consideration that Low literacy and high poverty are recognized by experts to be among the root causes of the violent insurgency that bedevilled the region for twelve years and the situation was further exacerbated by the large-scale destruction of schools and losses in the lives of youths, teachers, students.
The NEDC studied the effects of the destruction of schools, especially where they have not been rehabilitated throughout the decade of insurgency, which resulted in the truncation of the education of primary and secondary school students, and even where schools remained standing, widespread poverty coupled with insecurity rendered an estimated 600,000 young people unable to go beyond the primary or secondary school levels.
As such, millions of the out of school children in the region remain uneducated, justifying the need for massive intervention in the development of school infrastructure.
The NEDC then resolved to construct three Composite Mega Schools or upgrade existing ones in each state of the region, thus making eighteen, one in each of the Senatorial District and will also compliment the physical structure with soft support like teachers’ training, curriculum upgrade.
In the area of ICT training in the region, NEDC trained 2,400 youths in 2 batches across the six states and donated equipped infectious Diseases Laboratory for the testing of COVID – 19 and other diseases which were commissioned in Yobe, Bauchi and Taraba states while Adamawa and Gombe states will be done soon.
On the flag-off of the distribution of food and non-food items, the issue of imminent food insecurity in the region had been a matter of discourse for a long time, the NEDC Handed over 10,000 bags of rice (25kg) 12,000 Gallons of vegetable oil, 10,000 Bags of sugar, 2,000, cartons of spaghetti, 3,000 cartons of macaroni and donated non-food items, blanket PCS 2,000 (Pcs), Mats 2,000 (Pcs), mosquito nets 2,000 (Pcs), mosquito hand band 10,000 (Pcs) for distribution as well as distribution of food and non-food items to Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who are presently taking refuge in Bauchi state.
The NEDC also visited two historic roads that have defied previous administrations which will be constructed by the Commission in Bauchi State including the Alkaleri – Futuk road in Alkaleri LGA and Alkaleri -Kirfi- to Gombe Abba road in Kirfi LGA.
It also inspected the ongoing construction of Soro cattle market in Ganjuwa LGA and Fistula Hospital in Ningi, Ningi Local Government Area.