Security Tops Agenda as North East Governors Chart Path to Progress
By Matthew Eloyi
The North East Governors’ Forum (NEGF) took significant strides towards regional cooperation during its 9th meeting on Saturday, addressing crucial issues ranging from security to economic development.
This is contained in a communique issued at the end of the meeting which was held in Yola, Adamawa State.
Chaired by Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, Governor of Borno State, the Forum, which comprises Governors from Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe States, expressed satisfaction at the heightened collaboration among member states.
Despite improvements in the security situation, the Forum stressed the need for increased collaboration in designing a unified security architecture for the North East. The governors expressed commitment to working closely with security agencies to develop a common security roadmap.
Recognizing the challenges posed by Climate Change and Environmental degradation, the NEGF pledged to bolster collaboration with initiatives like the Great Green Wall and the Global Initiative of Carbon Credit financing.
To showcase the region’s potential, the Forum commended the Bauchi State Government for its readiness to host the North East Regional Trade Fair from February 26 to March 3, 2024. The invitation extended to subnational entities within the region and the global community aims to explore the rich culture, tourism offerings, hospitality, and economic opportunities.
Addressing education, the Forum applauded states for complying with the decision to domesticate the Education Law 2022, emphasizing the importance of strategic regional integration.
Recognizing the region’s poor infrastructural base, the Forum called on the Federal Ministry of Works to expedite action on neglected federal roads within and between states. Poor road networks were identified as contributing to insecurity and hindering development in the region.
To tackle the energy deficit, the NEGF resolved to collaborate with Shanghai Electric to construct a 60 MW Coal Power Plant or a 50 MW Solar Power Plant in each state of the region. Expressing concern over the inadequate rail system, the Forum called for the inclusion of the North East in the Nigerian National Railway Transport Plan, emphasizing the importance of modern gauge rail technology.
The meeting concluded with the announcement that the 10th Meeting of the North East Governors’ Forum will take place in Bauchi between February 23 and March 26, 2024.