At the end of their sixth meeting held in Gombe, Gombe State, the Northeast Governors Forum on Friday night, issued a nine-point communiqué, mostly bothering on security and power supply.
The communiqué was signed by the forum’s Chairman and Governor of Borno State, Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, and read out by Governor Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.
Buni read the communiqué at the banquet hall of the Government House, Gombe, standing amid Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe States at earlier closed-door deliberation.
Below is the communique.
Issued at the end of the 7th Meeting of the North-East Governors’ Forum (NEGF) Held in Gombe, Gombe State. Friday, 16th- September 2022.
The Northeast Governors’ Forum (NEGF), comprising of the Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno Gombe, Taraba, Yobe States, held its 7th meeting in Gombe, Gombe State. It expressed delight at the growing strength of the cooperation, collaboration, and cordial relationship between the Governors of the 6 States of the region. It reiterated its commitment to foster common ground and pursue a collective course for the benefit of the region. After exhaustive deliberations, it resolved and presents the following Communique:
1. The Forum, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies for their effort in combating the Boko haram insurgency. It noted the improvement in the security situation in the region which had largely been achieved through kinetic and non-kinetic measures.
2. The Forum, noted the relative peace being experienced in the subregion, especially the reduced incidences of Farmer-herder clashes, as encouraging. However, there is increasing vulnerability of the region to insecurity due to the mass movement of the bandits who are gradually being pushed out of the Northwest by the security forces. With the influx of bandits, there is an urgent need to launch a coordinated security roadmap in conjunction with the security agencies and the Federal Government.
3. The Forum, noted the link between mining activities and insecurity especially the abuse of the mining leases. It, therefore, resolved to ensure strict compliance with the provisions of the Land Use Act.
4. The Forum, again expressed concern on the parlous state of power supply in the north-east region, which at present receives less than 5% of the national allocation of grid energy while accounting for 14% of the population and 30% of the landmass. While noting the direct correlation between energy security and a high level of poverty and our GDP status, it called on the Federal Government to introduce innovative strategies by investing in the production of comparatively cheaper hydropower and renewable energy.
5. Related to this, the Federal Government is called upon to accelerate the execution of the Mambila hydroelectricity project.
6. The Forum, noted the need to harness the vast untapped resources of the subregion by fostering integration in commerce as well as holding trade fairs to attract foreign investments. The forum, therefore, urged the Northeast Council of Chambers of Commerce to revive the Northeast Joint Trade Fair and commodity markets to stimulate economic activities.
7. The Forum thanked the Federal Government for establishing the University of Health Sciences, in Azare to address the huge manpower deficit in the health sector and pledged to support the University to deliver on its mandate.
8. The Forum, expressed grave concern about the devastating effect of flooding which is destroying homes and livelihoods including road infrastructures. The Forum, therefore, calls on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency direct its relevant agencies to immediately deploy all necessary interventions to ameliorate the situation in the affected areas.
9. The Forum appreciates the Government and People of Gombe State for hosting the meeting. It resolved to hold the 8th Meeting in Maiduguri, Borno State on Friday, 25th November 2022.
Professor Babagana Umara Zulum, FNSE, mni
Chairman NEGF and Governor,