The North Central Development Initiative (NCDI) has canvased for the establishment of North Central Development Commission (NCDC) to address development challenges in the region.
Musa Otigba, National Coordinator of the initiative, made the call on Monday in Abuja at the inauguration of standing committees of the NCDI programmes for 2024.
He said the role of north central states in Nigeria’s national development could not be over emphasised, regretting that the region had been bedeviled by acute security challenges and had been under constant attacks by bandits and other criminal elements since the last two decades.
” The north central region has suffered significant damages due to kidnappings and frequent attacks on the citizens of the states that make up the region by insurgents and armed bandits as well as communal clashes.
“The influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from other affected regions like the north east, north west and south east, has added significant pressure on the resources available in the north central states, thereby making the host states to suffer additional hardships.
”The only way to address the developmental challenges bedeviling the region and to fast track the rebuilding of homes and economic activities in the region, which have been under constant attacks by bandits and unknown armed men, is through the establishment of a North Central Development Commission.
“I, therefore, want to use this opportunity to call on the citizens of north central states, and our representatives at both chambers of the National Assembly, to come together and support the agitation for the establishment of the commission.
“On our own side, we have already prepared a draft bill for an act to establish the north central development commission and it will soon be presented to our representatives at the National Assembly for further necessary action,” he said.
The national coordinator also appealed to the governors of north central states, to as a matter of urgency, begin to work out the modalities for the establishment of a North Central Joint Security Network (NCJSN), to curb the surge of insecurity.
On the prevailing economic situation in the country, Otigba commended the recent intervention by the Nigeria Senate on the need and measures to end the suffering of Nigerians within the shortest possible time.
He also commended the Federal Government’s economic team, for the various initiatives, aimed at cushioning the effects of the prevailing situation.
“We praise President Bola Tinubu for rising up to the occasion, and we appeal to Nigerians to remain patient with the government and still have faith in the Tinubu-led administration,” he said.