By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The North Central Development Initiative (NCDI) has urged the Federal Government to establish the North Central Development Commission (NCDC) to address development challenges in the region.
Mr Musa Otigba, the Director-General of NCDI, made this call during the inauguration of 10 Standing Committees aimed at facilitating the commission’s establishment in Abuja on Saturday.
Otigba emphasised that the NCDC would not only address security challenges but also contribute to the overall development of the region, which is known as the nation’s food basket with abundant mineral deposits.
He highlighted the pressing need for the commission, considering the North Central’s history of security challenges, including attacks by bandits and communal clashes.
Expressing concern over the influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Otigba stressed that establishing the NCDC is crucial for addressing developmental challenges and rebuilding homes and economic activities in the region.
He called on the people of the zone and their lawmakers at the National Assembly to support the demand for the commission.
Otigba mentioned that a draft bill for the establishment of the North Central Development Commission has been prepared and will soon be presented to representatives at the National Assembly.
Additionally, he commended the efforts of the President Bola Tinubu-led-Federal Government and security agencies in ensuring Nigeria’s safety.
Advocating for improved intelligence gathering, Otigba proposed the establishment of a National Intelligence Service (NIS) as a civilian agency focused on providing intelligence to counter internal security threats.
He suggested limiting the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to foreign intelligence and counterintelligence operations.
Otigba also called on governors in the North Central to work on establishing a North Central Joint Security Network, similar to ‘Amotekun’ in the South West and ‘Ebubeagu’ in the South East, to address security concerns in the region.
Otigba appreciated the interventions of the Senate and the federal government’s economic team in alleviating economic hardships, praising President Tinubu for addressing challenges and urging Nigerians to remain patient with the government.
The occasion included the inauguration of various committees to facilitate the establishment of the North Central Development Commission. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Ali Baba Inuwa