The Vice President of Nigeria, Kashim Shettima, has implored the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) to prioritize investments in legacy projects, including agriculture, education and smart transportation also referred to as electric transport vehicles and tricycles.
He gave the advice when the board and management of NEDC presented the North-East Stabilisation and Development Master Plan to him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
Speaking on the NEDC’s plan for the region, the Vice President urged the Commission to be prudent with its resources and invest in projects that will have a lasting impact on the region.
“I will ask the board and management of NEDC to embark on legacy projects; projects that will stand the test of time. It is absolutely essential that you invest in agriculture, invest in new transport technology- electric tricycles and vehicles. If you invest in smart transportation it will have a sea change and you can even attract climate funding,” he added.
VP Shettima noted that President Bola Tinubu will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that total security is returned to the North East region, even as he also pledged unalloyed support for NEDC to actualize all of its objectives but urged its board and management to “unite as a team and do what is right for the people.”
He acknowledged numerous challenges confronting the people of the region, noting that they could be surmounted if the people and leaders worked together.
He however expressed optimism that the region can overcome its challenges if there is a will, adding that while the government cannot manage poverty, it has to fight it.
Accordingly, the VP also tasked the NEDC to embark on projects that would further engage the youths and create jobs.
He noted that although the sharing of palliatives was good, NEDC must invest in education, agriculture and electric vehicles which, according to him, are key areas for development.
Earlier in his remarks, chairman of the NEDC board, Maj-Gen Paul Tarfa, said the purpose of the visit and presentation of the master plan was to highlight the importance of the document and to ensure that it is implemented.
Managing Director of NEDC, Mr Mohammed Alkali, said the master plan was in fulfilment of section 8 (1) (c) of the NEDC Act which stipulates that the commission shall develop a master plan based on the needs assessment of the zone.
He noted that the 10-year development plan (2020 to 2030) has four implementation phases, 11 pillars and 529 schemes, programmes and projects.