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North-East Governors Demand Federal Attention on Infrastructure Gaps

North-East Governors' Forum decries negligence by FG
North-East Governors in a meeting on Friday

The North-East Governors’ Forum has raised concerns about the neglect of critical infrastructure projects in their region by the federal government.

At the 10th meeting of the Forum, held on May 17, 2024, in Bauchi, the governors highlighted the poor state of road and railway infrastructure that connects the North-East to the rest of Nigeria. They called on the federal government to prioritize the reconstruction of these vital projects.

The Forum, comprising the governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe states, also expressed frustration over the prolonged power outages in the region. They criticized the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) for its indifferent attitude towards resolving the blackout, which has lasted for over a month.

In a communique read by Governor Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa State, the Forum resolved to establish regional solar power plants, each capable of generating a minimum of 10 megawatts per state, as a short-term solution to the energy crisis. Additionally, the governors urged the federal government to direct the TCN to restore power to the region by May 27, 2024.

The Forum pointed out that the North-East is the only region in Nigeria with a single transmission line supplying six states, making it the most vulnerable and disadvantaged area for industrial development. They called for the extension of the 330KV transmission line from Makurdi through Gassol and Jalingo to Adamawa, Gombe, and Bauchi, as well as from Kano through Bauchi to Yobe and Borno.

Other key resolutions from the meeting included:

*Commending the Bauchi State Government for hosting the North-East Trade Fair, an initiative aimed at promoting regional commerce and attracting investors.

*Highlighting the need for a coordinated effort to combat climate change and environmental degradation in the region.

*Urging the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) to collaborate more closely with state governments on energy development projects.

*Emphasizing the importance of investing in the agricultural value chain to address food security challenges, particularly by supporting the procurement of improved drought-resistant seeds and subsidizing fertilizers.

*Strengthening partnerships with organizations such as OCP Africa and UNICEF to support agricultural development and improve water and sanitation coverage in the region.

The Forum expressed appreciation to the government and people of Bauchi State for hosting the meeting and announced that the next meeting would be held in Damaturu, Yobe State, from August 30-31, 2024.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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