Lack of awareness, neglect stall rapid development of border communities, says Wills
The Executive Secretary of the Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA), Numoipte Wills, has identified inadequate awareness, neglect and poor funding as hampering the rapid development of border communities in Nigeria.
Wills also disclosed that the neglect has contributed to security challenges the country is presently witnessing, adding that these border communities have been neglected for a very long time, with no commercial activities, their young men and women left uncared for, making them vulnerable to outside influences.
The agency, established by the National Assembly Act of 2003, but later amended in 2009 December, is mandated to prepare a comprehensive programme of action for the development of the border communities, execute such border development policies, projects and programmes, coordinate the activities of all relevant Ministries in the implementation of federal government policies and policies and programmes for the development of border communities identify and determine in each year, such deliberate or conscious infrastructural projects required for their overall and set guidelines for the implementation and monitoring of federal government projects in the border communities, among others.
Wills stated while answering questions from The Guardian in Abuja on the recent activities of the agency that the major achievement of the agency since its establishment is that of awareness.
He said the agency has been able to build hospitals, water, roads and other social infrastructures for the people in the Northeast, Badagry in Lagos and other parts of the country.