By ABUBAKAR YUSUF.
The re-appointment of a seasoned pilot, administrator, and technocrat, Capt Junaid Abdullahi as the Executive Secretary/CEO for a second term in office, at the Border Communities Development Agency BCDA by President Muhammadu Buhari was not out of place.
With the first appointment during the heat period of COVID-19, the performance of the pilot turned administrator had been able to douse cynicisms and initial criticisms from mostly naysayers of his ability and capability to turn around the intervention agency, for the border communities in Nigeria, hitherto neglected for obvious reasons.
Four years down the line, the socio-economic, infrastructural, and engagement outlets for the 21 states’ border communities, 155 local government areas and 2,000 communities that made up border states are now hueing all sorts of reliefs in all areas of national and community development.
The solutions were not far-fetched, but basically on the appointment of Capt Junaid Abdullahi at the helm of affairs, whose professional challenges and experiences as a pilot in the air, became a great advantage in the program initiated/ executed at the Border agency.
For consecutive four years of his first term in office, he engaged critical stakeholders from local governments, states, and federal lawmakers by creating enabling environment for seamless synergy between the multiple critical stakeholders, which brought uneven development to Border communities.
Having articulated the needs assessment through constant familiarisation tour of the 21 states with borders across the country, the Executive Secretary attracted federal lawmakers from these areas, not only domiciled projects that had a direct bearing on the populace, but step up empowerment, capacity building, skill development, and acquisitions, through training and workshops to mitigate the incidences of idleness with resultant consequences of insecurity, criminal tendencies, and other needless vices.
For four years running, federal lawmakers from border states had domiciled their constituency projects in the agency along with its intervention roles being piloted by the Executive Secretary, Capt Junaid Abdullahi.
The success recorded was a result of creating awareness through seminars, talk shops, workshops, and symposiums that sensitized both the critical stakeholders and the communities that had a positive impact on the agency’s decisions, actions, and projects.
This was in addition to constant visits, collaboration, and synergy between the agency and the 21 border states governors that led to the initiatives of projects that directly affect positively on the lives of border communities’ indigenes/ settlers.
The passion to bridge the gap of underdevelopment, backwardness, exterminate illiteracy, and idleness, among many other negative tendencies, made the agency the darling of many lawmakers from border states domiciling projects in the border communities, including those outside the border states.
Staff orientation and reorientation along with motivation and collective bargaining were part of the success story recorded by Capt Junaid Abdullahi-led BCDA in his first term.
This led to the execution of over 600 constituency and intervention projects of the agency in the first three years, and it’s expected to double in the current year, to the body language of federal lawmakers, states in the border communities with the zeal for continuity been piloted by the top echelon of the agency.
The reverse is now the case, as border communities, indigenes/settlers that were before now engaged in menial jobs in neighboring countries, are now deeply engaged with a lot of activities in the states in Nigeria.
No doubt, despite the global economic recession and downturn, job losses, unemployment, insecurity, and other unforeseen circumstances, the border communities are now relatively peaceful with engagements in all areas.
It is expected that with the re-appointment of Capt Junaid Abdullahi by President Muhammadu Buhari as the Executive Secretary/ CEO for another term, more development will be attracted to Border communities and states in line with lay down procedures, rules of engagement, and the zeal to achieve more results by the agency.
Yusuf Writes From Abuja, All inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.