The Executive Secretary, Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA), Mr Numoipre Wills, has said that the agency would come up with a comprehensive plan to develop the 2, 500 border communities in the country.
Wills said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, that the budget of the agency had been increased by the Federal Government to tackle infrastructure deficits in the communities.
He said that the agency would henceforth realise the mandate for which it was set up by providing social amenities in border communities.
Wills stressed that work of the agency had been hampered by inadequate funding since 2009, but expressed the hope that with the increase in budgetary allocation it would be able to discharge its mandate.
He noted that most of the border communities were inaccessible, due to natural factors, adding that the agency would provide the needed infrastructure such as roads, schools, water and health facilities to open them up.
“BCDA was established by an Act of the National Assembly in 2003 with the primary mandate of providing social infrastructure to the border communities.
“This is because of the recognition that these border communities are places that have been neglected over long period.
“Most of them have difficult terrains to access either by mountains, rivers, bad roads.
“They also lack of schools, health facilities and so on; so government realised that an agency need to be created specifically to address these communities’ need.
“Therefore, on our part, we are going to fashion out better plans than what it used to be before to meet these challenges.”
The executive secretary said that in spite of the limited funding, the agency had executed various projects in communities such as Badagry in Lagos, Gurbin Baure in Zamfara, as well as others in Kebbi, Taraba, Cross River and Adamawa
“It is an enormous task that require huge amount of money.
“We came on board in December 2009, by that time, we realised there was no provision for the effective running of the agency.
“So over the period, since 2009 till now, this is the first time we are getting a budget of this magnitude; the budget is twice bigger than what we have in the six years put together.
“So, you can imagine that we are to take care of about 2, 500 communities in 105 Local Government Areas in 21 states.”
Source: News Express.