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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

FG Has Abandoned Our Region – North East Govs. Lament

L-R: Adamawa State Deputy Governor, Kaletapwa Farauta; Governors Umaru Fintiri (Adamawa), Bala Mohammed (Bauchi), Mai Mala Buni (Yobe), Babagana Zulum (Borno), Inuwa Yahaya (Gombe), and Agbu Kefas (Taraba), at a North-East Governors Forum meeting in Yola, Adamawa State.

Governors from Nigeria’s North-East geopolitical have decried the neglect of the region when it comes to allocations of Federal Government projects.

The Governors disclosed that the region has over the years been sidelined in term of construction and rehabilitation of critical infrastructure, especially roads and railway, along the economic corridors that links the North-East subregion to the rest of the country.

Their complaints and reservations were contained in a communique issued by the North East Governors’ Forum at the end of its 10th Meeting of the forum held in Bauchi.

The Forum noted with dismay that despite its cry for attention on the State of infrastructure in the region which has been consistently echoed in all its communique over the years nothing has changed.

According to them, the North-East was excluded from the National Infrastructure Plan for the transition from Premium Motor Spirits (PMS) to Compressed Gas.

“The Roads from Enugu to Maiduguri is in deplorable State and the railway from Enugu up to Maiduguri has been destroyed. This is a major route for regional trade and very important for integration, peace building and improving national unity.

“The Forum is calling on the Federal Government to look into the situation and consider the reconstruction of these basic infrastructure along Enugu-Maiduguri Economic Corridor and inclusion of NE in all National Development Plans and initiatives,” the communique stated.

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The Forum further noted the blackout experienced by the region over the lack of electricity experienced over the last one month and the nonchalant attitude exhibited by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

“Forum is watching keenly the commitment made by TCN to restore power to all the state of the region by the 27th May, 2024; accordingly, the Forum urged the Federal Government to direct TCN to take immediate action.

“The Forum has resolved in the short term, to set up a solar power plant that can generate a minimum 10 Megawatts per State.

“The Forum notes with deep concern that the Northeast, is the only region in Nigeria that has one transmission line supplying six states with a land mass of nearly 300Km square and population of over 35 million,”This has made the region the most vulnerable and most disadvantaged for industrial development and economic growth with over 70% of its population below 35 years of age. ”

“The Forum therefore calls on the Minister of Power and indeed the Federal Government as a matter of urgency to implement the extension of the 330KV transmission line from Makurdi – Gassol – Jalingo linking to Adamawa – Gombe – Bauchi and the extension of the 330KV line from Kano- Bauchi- Yobe, linking to Borno.

“The Forum resolved to maximise the existing hydropower generated in Kashimbilla and Dadin Kowa dam which the region has not been benefitting from because of the Ministry of Power has failed to extend the 330KV line of Makurdi Gassol- Jalingo line. Forum notes that climate change and environmental degradation remains a reality in the region.

“The Forum appreciates the various states for the policies they are putting in place to reclaim the environment. It called for a more sustained and coordinated regional onslaught to reverse the speed of desertification in the region.

“The Forum also charges the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) to be consultative in its dealings, operation and project prioritization. It calls on the NEDC to work with the States in the region for Energy Development to unlock the energy potentials of the region and lessen the energy paucity burden of the people,” the communique read.

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