North-East governors demand more federal projects in 2021

Governors of the northeastern states arriving at the State House, Abuja for a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Northeast Governors Forum has called for the execution of more capital projects from the Federal Government in 2021 to ensure the rapid development of the region.

The forum expressed its disappointment at the provision of N45.32 billion for capital projects in the region by the Federal Government budget for 2021.

The governors made the appeal in a statement issued at the end of the forum’s Third Gathering on Friday in Yola.

They pointed out that despite the development challenges, especially the infrastructure deficit in the region, the 2021 budget of the federal government did not show equity in the distribution of federal projects.

“Forum notes with dismay, that despite development challenges especially the infrastructure deficit in the Northeast, the proposed budget for 2021 foresees only N45.32 billion for capital projects in the region.

“This represents a measly 0.35 percent of the proposed N13.02 trillion and this means that the Northeast is very short.

“The Forum demands that the National Assembly review the 2021 budget in a spirit of equity and inclusion, and we direct the Northeast Senate and House of Representatives group to take immediate action to correct this imbalance,” he said.

The forum also noted that the region has been treated unfairly in the provision of road infrastructure by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.

In addition, it noted with dismay the slow or absolutely non-existent progress in the pace of already assigned roads in the region.

The forum called for the immediate reactivation and revision of the comatose road contracts in the region.

“The Forum notes with dismay the lack of budget provision regarding the Mambilla Hydroelectric Project in the 2021 budget proposal.

“We call on the federal government to make the project a high priority issue, resolve all obstacles around the project and order actions on the site.

“The Forum critically examined the challenges of education in the region and resolved to adopt a regional approach, especially at the basic level.

“And the Forum agreed to form the Northeast Education Council to transform the education sector in the region,” he said.

Additionally, the forum called on the Northeast Development Commission to accelerate action in the development of the Northeast Strategic Master Plan.

The governors also examined the status of the 2.3 trillion naira post-COVID-19 economic stimulus package and commended the federal government for the noble initiative.

However, the forum called for equitable and fair treatment, especially in view of the economic and social challenges facing the region.

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