By; MOHAMMED KAWU, Bauchi
Six North Eastern State Governors on Tuesday rose from their routine meeting in Jalingo, Taraba State with an appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to accord the Mambila Hydroelectric Project the desired seriousness it deserves.
They want the Buhari-led federal government to establish a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to address the encumbrances and bring the Mambila hydroelectric project to reality with all the urgency it required.
The North East Governors Forum at its 5th regular meeting noted the general improvement of the security situation in the region and called for continuous collaboration of all the security agencies in the country to sustain the gains.
The forum condoled President Buhari, the Nigerian Army and the families of the late Chief of Army Staff Major General Ibrahim Attahiru and other officers who lost their lives while on duty, as it also congratulated Major General Farouk Yahaya over his appointment as the new Chief of Army Staff.
It similarly called on the diplomatic community, partners and donor agencies supporting the region to activate the process of transiting from humanitarian to stabilization and durable solution within the region.
The transition, according to the forum, will ensure sustainability and give people the opportunity to help themselves out of poverty, as well as address socio-economic dimension of insecurity in the region.
Forum also noted the negative impact of drug and narcotic substances in the region and the extent to which it fuels the insurgency and other forms of criminality in the region, and called for support in drugs trafficking stoppage and enforcing narcotic control within the region and across its borders.
On the activities of the North East Development Commission (NEDC) as an intervention agency in the region, the governors expressed concern that the level of consultation between the commission and the various state governments within the region on project priorities and locations is low.
The forum observed that the speed of work on the intervention projects already in place within the region is also slow, and called on the commission to consult the various state governments within the region on priorities for intervention, location of projects and the development of the North East Masterplan, saying action be expedited to complete the on-going projects.
It noted the technical support on potentials for growth and development of the region especially the Agribusiness programme using innovative financing model of the Adamawa State Government by the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP).
Governors therefore agreed that the research be extended to all the states of the region, and directed the management of ARDP to immediately prepare and submit the project proposal to the NEGF Secretariat for onward transmission to the various states for implementation.
The six northeast states governors meeting under the chairmanship of Borno state governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum resolved to support the Rural Electrification Agency of Nigeria (REAN) deliver on its mandate within the region, and called on the agency to intensify working with designated focal persons at the individual state level to ensure justifiable spread of projects across the region.
The forum received report from the North East Council on Education on repositioning education in the sub-region, as it took the councils’ advisory on the improvement of quality and performance of students and teachers screening and training in the region.
The next meeting of the forum is slated for Damaturu, Yobe State, on Saturday, 9th October, 2021.