Metro

North-East governor criticize Tinubu for neglecting region in capital project allocation

*Photo caption: The governors at a recent North-East Governors’ Forum meeting

The North-East Governors’ Forum on Saturday raised concerns that the region has been neglected.
The governors lamented the Federal Government’s absence, saying it is overwhelming.
This was disclosed during the forum’s 10th meeting which was held in Bauchi State.
In a communiqué signed by the NEGF Chairman, Prof Babagana Zulum, which was obtained by our correspondent on Saturday, the Forum urged the Federal Government to prioritise the region to enhance its development.
The communique partly read, “Forum reiterates its concern over the seeming neglect of the North-East 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 North-East subregion to the rest of the country, nothing serious seems to be happening.
“The road from Enugu to Maiduguri is in a 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 and improving 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 these basic infrastructure along the Enugu-Maiduguri Economic Corridor and inclusion of NE in all National Development Plans and initiatives.”
While decrying the blackout across the region, the NEGF lambasted the Transmission Company of Nigeria on its poor handling of repairs, adding that it would wait till the agreed May 27 to see full restoration of power.
It added, “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 keenly the commitment made by TCN to restore power to all the states of the region by the 27th of 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 of 10 Megawatts per state.”
The governors expressed dismay over a single transmission line to a region with over 35 million population, adding “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.”
It urged the Federal Government to maximise the use of the existing hydroelectric dams to boost power supply.
“Forum resolved to maximise the existing hydropower generated in Kashimbilla and Dadin Kowa dam which the region has not been benefitting from because the Ministry of Power has failed to extend the 330KV line of Makurdi – Gassol- Jalingo line,” the communique added.

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