Governors of Northeastern Nigeria rose from their meeting on Tuesday to demand a shift from humanitarian services offered to the region by the diplomatic community, partners and donor agencies, to stabilization and durable solution within the region.
According to the governors, this will ensure sustainability and give people the opportunity to help themselves out of poverty, as well as address the socio-economic dimension of insecurity in the region.
The governors’ demand was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of their 5th Meeting held in Jalingo, Taraba State on Tuesday.
The meeting had in attendance, the Executive Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States, and discussed, among other things, the challenges facing the sub-region.
Reading the communiqué, the Chairman, North East Governors’ Forum (NEGF) and Executive Governor of Borno State, Professor, Babagana Umara Zulum, said the Forum calls 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 forum notes the general improvement of the Security situation in the region and calls for continuous collaboration of all the security agencies in the country to sustain the gains.
“The Forum also notes 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. It therefore calls for support in the area of stopping drug trafficking and enforcing narcotic control within the region and across the borders.
“The Forum notes 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), and agreed that the research be extended to all the States of the region. Forum therefore 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 communiqué read.
Professor Zulum said the forum while interacting with the Commissioners of the Federal Character Commission, appreciated their effort at ensuring compliance with the Federal Character principle, but expressed dismay over the shortfall in the number of applicants from the region in the recent recruitment into some Federal Agencies.
The forum he said, therefore, resolved to follow up with all the concerned agencies to ensure that the region gets its fair share in the recruitments into the concerned agencies.
The Borno governor also revealed that they deliberated extensively on the presentation on the Mambilla Hydroelectric Power Project and noted with dismay, that the project as important as it is, to Nigeria and the North-East sub-region, is surrounded by a lot of contractual encumbrances which have stalled its take-off and realization.
“The Forum, therefore calls on the President to accord the project the desired seriousness by establishing a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) to address the encumbrances and bring the project to reality,” he said.
He disclosed that in its bid to reposition Education in the sub-region, the Forum has received report from the North East Council on Education and has taken the Councils’ advisory on the improvement of quality and performance of students and teachers screening and training in the region.