From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The North East Development Commission (NEDC) has been commended for entrenching good governance in its operations.
The National Accountability Watch Group (NAWG) said it arrived at this conclusion after a strategic assessment of NEDC’s operations.
In an interim report signed by its Executive Director, Dr Okpe Joseph Okpe, on Monday, the group lauded managing director, Mohammed Alkali for ensuring that the commission fulfils its madate to Nigerians.
Among others, the NAWG noted that under Alkali, the agency has achieved quality leadership, impacted the economy, formulated and implemented programmes and focused on relevant interventions.
Established in 2019, the commission was given the task of assessing, coordinating, harmonising, reporting as well as implementing all intervention programmes in the North-East region.
According to the group, the Alkali-led agency has so far exceeded its mandate, ensuring that the reconstruction and development of the economy of the region remains a top priority.
The NAWG further applauded the management of the NEDC for displaying unalloyed commitment towards fulfilling the mandate of the NEDC in ways too numerous.
The National Accountability Watch Group urged all relevant stakeholders to extend support to the NEDC in critical areas of intervention.
It noted that the impact of the Boko Haram insurgency in North-East Nigeria has had negative consequences on the social and economic life in the region as hundreds of thousands have been killed and properties worth billions of Naira destroyed.
‘The question thus was how to mitigate the impact of the insurgency and this consequently led to the establishment of the North East Development Commission to lead the reconstruction and development of Nigeria’s North-East.
It is also charged with the responsibility to assess, coordinate, harmonise and report on all intervention programs, and initiatives by the Federal Government or any of its Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), States; and other Development Partners and for the implementation of all programs and initiatives for the North-East states; Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, respectively.
Since 2019 when the North East Development Commission commenced operations, it has been reported in some quarters that the NEDC has been proactive in addressing the issues in North-East Nigeria, while in some quarters, it was also stated that the NEDC has not lived up to expectation.
The need to interrogate the operations of the NEDC prompted the National Accountability Watch Group to undertake a strategic assessment study on the operations of the NEDC from 2019 till date towards putting issues in proper perspectives with regards to fulfilling its mandate of leading the reconstruction and development of North-East Nigeria.
The assessment dwelled on six governance indicators: Quality of Leadership; impact on the economy of North-East Nigeria; Programmes formulation and implementation; Transparency and accountability;
Relevance of interventions; Blueprint for development and Quality of Leadership.
The group examined the quality of leadership provided by the NEDC management team led by the managing director, Mohammed Alkali. It also scrutinised the leadership drive by the management team towards achieving the strategic mandate of the NEDC.
After extensive assessment, it was discovered that the management team of the NEDC led by its managing director, Mohammed Alkali has been outstanding in the discharge of their responsibilities. The composition of the management team speaks volumes of round pegs in round holes and this has translated to the entrenchment of synergy amongst the various departments at the NEDC.
An extensive study of the leadership provided by the NEDC over the two-year period it has been in operation speaks volumes of a management team with eyes on the ball in delivering the mandate of the commission towards addressing the developmental challenges in North-East Nigeria occasioned by the Boko Haram insurgency.
It was also discovered that the management team of the NEDC consist of individuals that are passionate about service and this much has been seen in the work ethics, programmes formulation, and implementation at the NEDC.
The managing director, Mohammed Alkali has been reputed to have been providing sound leadership direction for the NEDC through the introduction and implementation of sound programmes that have been impactful on the socio-economic life of North-East Nigeria.
The impact of the various intervention of the NEDC in North-East Nigeria was assessed using key indicators on governance. It was realised that in two years the NEDC has been impactful in the economy of North-East Nigeria, which has received commendations from wide and far.
An example of the impact on the NEDC in the economy of North-East Nigeria is the setting up of an Education Endowment Fund worth N6billion aimed at resuscitating the region’s devastating education sector and rebuild human capital.
The Fund provides an avenue for the engagement of over 20,000 beneficiaries across the region annually. The fund provides scholarships and training while also building infrastructures in the sector. It was discovered that under this initiative hundreds of thousands have benefited and are making the required impact in North-East Nigeria. This is amongst a host of other notable interventions.