This compilation of frequently asked questions (FAQs) concerning the NEDC and its affairs serves as a tool in gaining a much needed understanding of the commission and its operations.
1Does the establishment of the NEDC only benefit the North East Zone (NEZ)?
No. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Today the NEZ is Nigeria’s weakest link and if the situation in the Zone is not well managed; it has the potential to become Nigeria’s “Achilles Heel”. The NEZ in its current situation would keep dragging Nigeria back and even threaten its corporate existence. The Zone also has the potential to destabilize the West African and Central African sub-regions hence the need to establish the NEDC to address the problem. The NEDC in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders would stop the insurgency, stabilize the NEZ and position the Zone on a path to growth by harnessing its vast potentials and resources. This would enable Nigeria move forward and avert a potential catastrophe. The NEDC would coordinate activities that would stop the incubation of terrorism within the Zone and its exportation to other parts of Nigeria and bordering countries. The NEDC would stabilize the NEZ thus stopping the displacement and involuntary movement of people out of the Zone to other parts of Nigeria and bordering countries with the attendant socio-economic and security consequences.
2Why do we need a North East Development Commission (NEDC)?
The fight against the insurgency is ongoing but there is no institution that is legally charged with the responsibility of addressing the problem. There is also no institution coordinating the activities of all stakeholders (FG, MDAs, States, Development partners, NGOs and CSOs) that are currently active in stopping the insurgency and addressing the devastation caused by it. Hence, the need for the establishment of the NEDC (NEDC Bill P.2).
3What are the core functions of the Commission?
To coordinate all ongoing Political, Diplomatic, Military and Socio economic interventions aimed at stopping the insurgency and addressing the devastation caused by it (NEDC Bill P. 8-13).
4What are the advantages of such an Institution?
Provides a legal framework for addressing the problem of insurgency and other related matters of the NEZ. It has a medium to long-term period of existence for the actualization of its mandate after which it would seize to exist. This is unlike a committee, which is just an ad hoc arrangement. The NEDC would enable medium and long term planning and execution of an NEZ Stabilization and Development Master Plan. The NEDC Act would enable the NASS to appropriate funds to the Commission and to subsequently carryout oversight functions.
5What is the difference between the NEDC Bill and the Commission?
The Bill is the Legislative process that will eventually lead to an Act establishing the NEDC. The Commission is a manifestation of the Act; it is an Executive affair.
6Who populates and staffs the Commission?
7Who evolves the Culture of the Commission?
8Who is responsible for the Act?
9Who is responsible for interpreting the Act?
10Who makes up the Board of the Commission and how would they be selected?
The Executive would compose the Board. It shall consists of the following persons: • The Chairman • The Board of Directors • The Managing Director • One representative of each geopolitical Zone • Three other directors representing states within the North East Zone, that are not represented by the Chairman, Managing Director and the Representative of the North East Zone. (NEDC Bill P. 3-6).
11How would the Commission prioritize its responsibilities?
- Survey the Zone to ascertain the extent of the problem. - Develop a North East Stabilization and Development Master Plan. - Estimate the cost of implementation of the Master Plan within a time-frame. - Coordinate and Implement the Master Plan in collaboration with other partners and stakeholders in line with budget.
12Will the Commission be in charge of project implementation?
The main role of the Commission would be the coordination of activities of the FG’s MDA’s, States, Development Partners, CSOs/NGOs and stakeholders within the Zone to ensure synergy. The Commission may execute projects to fill gaps left by the aforementioned.
13How would the Commission be funded?
- Appropriation from the NASS will be the primary source of funding. - The Commission may be funded directly or indirectly by local and/or International - Development Partners including CSOs/NGOs that are active in the Zone (NEDC Bill P. 20-21)
14What is the difference between the Management Committee and the Advisory Committee?
The Management Committee shall be responsible to the Board for the general administration of the Commission while the Advisory Committee shall be charged with the responsibility of monitoring the activities of the commission and advising the Board, with a view to achieving the objectives of the Commission (NEDC Bill P. 17).
15How will the Commission determine how the funds will be disbursed?
In line with UN indices based on prioritization of Needs Assessment conducted in the Zone and in line with the Master Plan.
16How is the NEDC any different from the NDDC?
Both Commissions are geared towards addressing socio economic problems with the NE and SS geopolitical Zones respectively. However, there are slight differences in the components of the Act. They include: The NEDC Board is relatively small to allow for better cohesion (NEDC Bill P. 3-6). There is a Civil Military Relations Department in the NEDC, which would liaise with the Military and other security agencies (NEDC Bill P. 15 and 19). The NEDC has a Development Partner Unit that would interface with Local and International Partners in the Zone (NEDC Bill P. 10). The NEDC has a Peace Building and Human Security Unit that would actively address the underlying social issues that led to the insurgency (NEDC Bill P. 10).