The North East Development Commission (NEDC) have disclosed that the education of the hundreds of thousands of school-age children kept out-of-school by Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East over the last ten years is the first major priority of the Commission.
The Chairman of the Governing Board of the Commission, Maj. Gen. Paul Tarfa, stated this in Maiduguri, on Saturday, when he led the Board on tour of the Commission’s administrative headquarters, some IDP camps and Borno State government’s mega schools.
“Finding schools for this massive population of out-of-school children, and also finding jobs for them after school constitute our major priority now,” he told newsmen during the facility tour.
“We will certainly try to find solutions to occupy these children and in the long run find stability and development in the North-East.”
The Managing Director of the Commission, Mohammed Goni Alkali, while looking at the situation of the IDPs in broad perspective said, “we will now go back, settle down and develop short, middle and long term solutions for them.”
Accompanying the NEDC board on the tour, the Borno State governor-elect, Professor Babagana Zulum, said he would cooperate with the Commission to identify gaps in the resuscitation and development of a post-insurgency Borno state, as well as work with the Commission for a common purpose when he takes over the mantle of leadership of the state.
“Take a much more holistic approach to the problems created by the insurgency, and adopt short, mid and long term plans to solve them,” Governor Kashim Shettima advised the Commission when the board paid him a courtesy call later.
“There are a lot of expectations from the government and people of the North-East. Pay undivided attention to education, job creation and the healthcare delivery system; these are most important,” he told the commission.