By; Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna
Northern State Governor’s Forum (NSGF), said it did not violate any law of the land by seeking Islamic Development Bank (IDB) intervention in addressing the challenges in the region.
Chairman of the Forum, Hon. Kashim Shettima and Governor of Borno State, said this while declaring open meeting of the governors in Kaduna, Friday.
It could be recalled that some prominent northern leaders, including Senator Shehu Sani, had criticised the NSGF move to get the IDB loan.
According to him, ”I wish to reiterate here that in seeking the intervention of the Bank, we have not violated any law of the land.
“As I had indicated in another forum, we knew our statutory obligations at every stage of the process; which was why we had in our delegation a senior official of the Federal Ministry of Finance, who is in charge of the IDB desk, to monitor the proceedings and guide us, if need be, to ensure that everything was done in accordance with the statutory requirements guiding foreign assistance.
“In our efforts to address these challenges in collaborative partnership with the Islamic Development Bank, you may recall that consequent upon a deliberate resolution of the Forum, I had the privilege to lead a top level delegation to the Headquarters of the Islamic Development Bank in Jedda Saudi Arabia, for special consultations with the management of the Bank on possible ways of attracting their assistance in addressing some of the core challenges we, as a region, are facing.
“The delegation included Their Excellencies the Executive Governors of Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano and Nasarawa States as well as top officials of the NNDC, some professional consultants and other relevant stakeholders and senior officials. In reaction to our various presentations, the Bank’s President, Dr Mohammed Ali had given us a strong indication of the IDB’s declared intention to initiate a comprehensive and constructive plan for the reconstruction of the Northern Region”.
This, according to him, “entails possible intervention of the Bank in human capital development, Agriculture, poverty alleviation and improvement of infrastructural facilities, among others. The Consultant’s Committee was formed to specifically articulate our priority needs in a manner that could easily facilitate the intervention of the Bank in an all-encompassing and implementable way and present them to the IDB.”
On the agenda of the meeting, Shettima explains that, “Another equally important Report to be presented at today’s meeting is that of the Consultant’s Committee which was established to assess and articulate the various multi-sectoral challenges facing the Northern States with a view to coming up with a common position, in our determined
“The meeting would also deliberate on the Report of the Committee set up to determine the legal framework of the Northern States Governors’ Forum as an entity, which is also expected to be presented today. Furthermore, the Reports of the Committee on the New Nigerian Newspapers and update by NNDC are due for presentation and shall form part of our deliberations.
“Your Excellencies, it is also pertinent to, as part of our deliberations, make an insightful and thorough review of the current security situation in the region, with specific reference to the Boko Haram insurgency, cattle rustling, the lingering deadly clashes between farmers and cattle rearers, as well as the intermittent incidents of armed banditry and kidnapping, all of which have generally been regarded as part of the major factors responsible for the formidable developmental challenges we found ourselves in.
“In respect of the insurgency in the North East and as someone from the epicenter of the crisis, I can confidently confirm that the insurgency has been irredeemably halted and the insurgents themselves completely subdued.”
By; Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna