Some citizens in North-East Nigeria have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for increasing funding to the North East Development Commission (NEDC) in the 2020 budget.
A cross section of people interviewed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yola, the capital of Adamawa, expressed optimism about the 2020 budget proposals.
Dr Bala Jika of the Department of Economic Education, Federal College of Education, Yola, said the increment of over 200 per cent budget of NEDC was a laudable development and encouraging.
“The allocation total of N37.8 billion for the North East Development Commission in the 2020 budget is encouraging if compared to 2019 budget, where the commission was allocated only N10 billion,” Jika said.
Similarly, Alhaji Ahmadu Musa, Managing Director, Yola Construction and Engineering Company, said the 2020 budget allocation was commendable, noting that it will enable the commission to start execution of reasonable projects in the region.
Musa however said that there was need to increase the allocation to about N100 billion considering the damages caused by insurgency in the region.
Also reacting to the budget presentation, Mr Umar Yusuf, a senior journalist based in Adamawa, said that the budget would take Nigeria to the next level, if properly implemented.
According to Umar, despite the increase in the budget allocation for the NEDC, the allocation is still inadequate.
“I watched the budget presentation by President Muhammadu Buhari but the key point that catches my attention is the total sum allocation to North East Development Commission.
“Even though, there was increase in the allocation than 2019 budget, but the allocation is very inadequate because of the massive destruction in the region caused by Boko Haram insurgency,’’ said the journalist.
“According to a joint committee report of Federal and State Governments, the destruction levels in Adamawa alone needs about N90 billion to recover,” Umar added.
He said the N37.8 billion would not make much impact considering the estimated people to be over 20 million from the six states comprising the region.
Umar also urged the federal government to check the management of the commission on how the last budget allocation of N10 billion was spent and its impact in the region.