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North-East govs request FG’s attention on critical infrastructure gaps

North East gov

THE North-East Governors’ Forum has raised concerns over the neglect of the North-East in the allocation of federal government capital projects, particularly the poor state of road and railway infrastructure along the economic corridors that connect the region to the rest of the nation.

The forum urged the federal government to prioritize the rehabilitation of these important infrastructure projects.

It also expressed concern over the zone’s lengthy power outage and the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s (TCN) callous handling of the situation.

In response, the group decided to establish a regional solar power plant capable of producing at least 10 megawatts per state in the immediate term to meet the energy need.

At the end of the meeting, the Forum reached and issued the following Communique:

1. The Forum acknowledges the maturity of the team, with the 10th meeting serving as evidence that the States and Governors are on the right track and should continue in that direction.

2. The Forum praised the Bauchi State Government for hosting the Northeast Trade Fair, a decision made at the 8th Meeting in Maiduguri. The Trade Fair is seen as a vital tool for enhancing regional commerce, attracting investors, and demonstrating that decisions agreed upon by the Forum can be effectively implemented.

3. The Forum expressed concerns about the perceived neglect of the Northeast in the allocation of Federal Government Capital Projects. It highlighted the inadequate attention given to infrastructure in the region, particularly the poor condition of roads and railways connecting the Northeast to the rest of the country. The Forum emphasized the urgent need for reconstruction of critical infrastructure along the Enugu-Maiduguri Economic Corridor and inclusion of the Northeast in national development plans and initiatives.

4. The Forum expressed disappointment over the recent power outage in the region and urged the Federal Government to direct the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to address this issue promptly. As a short-term solution, the Forum plans to establish a solar power plant in each State capable of generating a minimum of 10 Megawatts.

5. The Forum highlighted the challenges faced by the Northeast due to having only one transmission line supplying six states, making it vulnerable and hindering industrial and economic growth. It called for the extension of the 330KV transmission lines to improve energy distribution in the region.

6. The Forum resolved to maximize the hydropower potential of Kashimbilla and Dadin Kowa dams, which have not been fully utilized due to infrastructure limitations.

7. Climate change and environmental degradation were identified as ongoing concerns in the region, with the Forum calling for coordinated efforts to combat desertification.

8. The Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) was urged to collaborate with the States in the region to address energy challenges and enhance energy access for the population.

9. The Forum emphasized the importance of investing in the agricultural value chain to address food security issues and support small-scale farming enterprises in the region.

10. Partnership with OCP Africa to support agriculture in the Northeast was endorsed by the Forum.

11. The Forum reiterated its commitment to partnering with UNICEF to enhance Water and Sanitation Coverage (WASH) in the region.

12. The Forum expressed gratitude to the Government and People of Bauchi State for hosting the meeting and announced that the 11th Meeting would take place in Damaturu, Yobe State between 30th-31st August 2024.