North-East Governors Accuse Tinubu Government Of Neglecting Zone In Allocation Of Capital Projects, Slam Electricity Company Over Blackout

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It particularly noted that roads from Enugu to Maiduguri were in deplorable state and the railway from Enugu up to Maiduguri had been completely destroyed.

The North-East Governors’ Forum has expressed concern over the neglect of the North-East zone in the allocation of federal government capital projects.

The forum called on the Nigerian government led by President Bola Tinubu to prioritise the reconstruction of the critical infrastructure projects, particularly the poor state of road and railway infrastructure along the economic corridors that link the zone to the rest of the country.

It particularly noted that roads from Enugu to Maiduguri were in deplorable state and the railway from Enugu up to Maiduguri had been completely destroyed.

The governors also berated the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) over its nonchalance in tackling head-on, the recent persistent blackout being experienced in the subregion.

They said they were keenly watching to see how committed the TCN was in restoring power supply to the region within the next 10 days.

This was contained in a communique issued Saturday at the end of the 10th regular meeting of the forum held at the Bauchi Government House, Bauchi signed by its Chairman, Prof Babagana Zulum, Governor of Borno State. 

It read, “Forum reiterates concern over the seeming neglect of the Northeast in the allocation of Federal Government Capital Projects. It noted with dismay that despite its cry for attention on the State of infrastructure in the region which has been consistently echoed in all its communiques over the years, especially the poor road and railway infrastructure along the economic corridors that link the Northeast subregion to the rest of the country, nothing serious seems to be happening. 

“The roads from Enugu to Maiduguri are in deplorable state and the railway from Enugu up to Maiduguri has been destroyed.

“This is a major route for regional trade and very important for integration, peace building peace-building national unity. The region is also not included in the National Infrastructure Plan for the transition from PMS to Compressed Gas. The Forum is calling on the Federal Government to look into the situation and consider the reconstruction of this basic infrastructure along Enugu-Maiduguri the Economic Corridor and inclusion of NE in all National Development Plans and initiatives.  

“Forum notes with dismay, the blackout experienced by the region over the last one month and the nonchalant attitude exhibited by the TCN in addressing this issue of National importance for the security and development of the country.

“The forum is watching the commitment made by TCN to restore power to all the state of the restates on the 27th May, 2024; accordingly, the Forum urged the Federal Government to direct TCN to take immediate action. the Forum has resolved  in the short term, to set up a solar power plant that can generate a minimum 10 Megawatts per State.  

“Forum notes with deep concern that the Northeast, is the only region in Nigeria that has one transmission line supplying six states with a land mass of nearly 300,000 square kilometres and a population of over 35 million. This has made the region the most vulnerable and most disadvantaged for industrial development and economic growth with over 70% of its population below 35 years of age. Forum therefore calls on the Minister of Power and indeed the Federal Government as a matter of urgency to implement the extension of the 330KV transmission line from Makurdi – Gassol – Jalingo linking to Adamawa – Gombe – Bauchi and the extension of the 330KV line from Kano- Bauchi- Yobe, linking to Borno.

“Forum resolved to maximise the existing hydropower generated in the Kashimbilla and Dadin Kowa dam which the region has not been benefitting from because of the Ministry Power has failed to extend the 330KV line of the Makurdi – Gassol- Jalingo line. 

“Forum notes that climate change and environmental degradation remain a realitremaine region. It appreciates the various states for the policies they are putting in place to reclaim the environment. It called for a more sustained and coordinated regional onslaught to reverse the speed of desertification in the region. 

“Forum charges the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) to be consultative in its dealings, operation and project prioritization. It calls on the NEDC to work with the States in the region for Energy Development to unlock the energy potentials of the region and lessen the energy paucity burden of the people. 

“Forum notes that the world is passing through a horrific food security crisis, especially with the war in Ukraine, climate, change and poor agricultural practice. In the practices, Member states, resolved to continue to invest in Agriculture Value Chain and encourage the transformation of subsistence farming into SMEs. The member states of the forum will support the procurement of improved drought-resistant and short-maturation seedlings, subsidise fertilisers and ensure that the region specialises in the production of such seeds.”

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