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N’East govs decry state of infrastructure

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By Abraham Adekunle

Forum urges federal govt to prioritize development in the region.

North-East Governors’ Forum (NEGF) has lamented the deplorable state of Infrastructure in the region, blaming the federal government for years of neglect. The governors, who met in Bauchi on Saturday, called on the government to prioritize the region’s development, citing the poor state of roads, railways, and Power Supply. The meeting, attended by the governors of Borno, Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, and Bauchi, noted that the region has suffered due to neglect from previous governments, resulting in slow development.

The communiqué signed by Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, highlighted the poor road and railway infrastructure along the economic corridors linking the North-East to the rest of the country. The Enugu-Maiduguri road, a major route for regional trade, is in a deplorable state, and the railway from Enugu to Maiduguri has been destroyed. The region is also not included in the National Infrastructure Plan for the transition from Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to Compressed Gas.

Power should be restored, govts urged FG to direct TCN.

Also, the governors urged the federal government to reconstruct basic infrastructure along the Enugu-Maiduguri Economic Corridor and include the North-East in all National Development Plans and initiatives. They also expressed concern over the region’s blackout, which has lasted for over a month, and the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s (TCN) nonchalant attitude towards addressing the issue. The governors resolved to set up a solar power plant that can generate a minimum of 10 Megawatts per state in the short term.

They also urged the federal government to direct TCN to take immediate action to restore power to all states in the region by May 27, 2024. The North-East region has faced significant challenges, which have hindered economic development, exacerbated poverty, and contributed to Insecurity. The region’s poor road networks have made it difficult for people and goods to move around, while the destroyed or non-functional railways have disrupted Trade and economic activities. The inadequate power supply, with frequent blackouts, has also affected businesses and households, while the limited access to clean water and Sanitation has led to health challenges. Furthermore, the inadequate healthcare facilities and services have made it difficult for people to access quality healthcare.

Collaboration with FG to decide a development plan.

Their call for federal government intervention is crucial to addressing these challenges and promoting development in the region. In addition to the communiqué’s demands, the North-East Governors’ Forum should consider collaborating with the federal government to develop a comprehensive infrastructure development plan for the region. They should also explore alternative funding sources, such as public-private partnerships, to support infrastructure development and implement measures to improve Security and reduce the risk of destruction. Moreover, they should promote regional trade and economic integration through improved transportation networks and economic corridors.

By addressing the region’s infrastructure challenges, the North-East Governors’ Forum and the federal government can promote economic development, improve living standards, and enhance national unity. The North-East region is critical to Nigeria’s economic development, with significant agricultural production, natural resources, and trade routes. However, the region’s infrastructure challenges have hindered its potential, and the federal government’s neglect has exacerbated the situation. The governors’ call for intervention is a wake-up call for the federal government to prioritize the region’s development.

Related Article: $35bn needed annually for infrastructure

Finally, the federal government must take immediate action to address the region’s infrastructure challenges, including reconstructing roads and railways, improving power supply, and providing access to clean water and sanitation. Furthermore, the federal government must include the North-East in all National Development Plans and initiatives, ensuring that the region is not left behind in Nigeria’s development journey. The government must also explore alternative funding sources, such as public-private partnerships, to support development in the region. By doing so, the government can promote economic development, improve living standards, and enhance national unity.


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