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A communique issued at the end of the 8th Meeting of the North-East Governors’ Forum (NEGF) Held in Maiduguri, Borno State. Saturday, 9th- September, 2023.

The Northeast Governors’ Forum (NEGF), comprising the Governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, and Yobe with the Governors of Gombe and Taraba represented by the Deputy Governors, held its 8th meeting in Maiduguri, Borno 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. The Forum reiterated its commitment to foster a common ground and pursue a collective course for the benefit of the region.

After exhaustive deliberations, the Forum resolved and presented the following Communique:

1. The Forum appreciated the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Senator Kashim Shettima for gracing the opening ceremony of the 8th meeting of the NEGF and the Government and People of Borno State for hosting the event.

2. While acknowledging the relative success recorded against insurgency, a new dimension of growing banditry is added to worsen the security situation in the subregion. As a result of the concerted efforts of the Military to flush bandits from the other parts of the country, the bandits are now moving towards the Northeast. The case is becoming worse in Bauchi, Gombe, and Taraba, places hitherto without banditry. The Forum calls on the Federal Government to urgently intervene to address this issue.

3. The Forum is aware that some traditional rulers and other local authorities are conniving with the bandits, sheltering them and covering them to commit crimes within the subregion. The Forum unanimously resolved to decisively deal with any Traditional ruler or community leader that is found to be harboring or conniving with the bandits.

4. The proliferation of mining in the region is becoming a problem. This includes both legal and illegal mining. It noted The Forum reiterated its call for strict compliance with the provisions of the Land Use Act.

5. The Forum noted with great concern that Climate Change and environmental degradation is a major issues affecting the subregion. The issue of flooding that had affected the States leading to the destruction of properties and loss of livelihoods is increasing the sufferings of the people. This has been compounded by the silting of our rivers as well as deforestation brought about by the massive charcoal business. There is a need for the Federal Government’s intervention in the area of desilting the rivers. Furthermore, there is a need for effective control of deforestation with stern regulation to local authorities against compromise to granting approvals for such businesses. The Forum has resolved to key into the Global Initiative of Carbon Credi, the Great Green Wall, and other initiatives that will mitigate the devasting impact of climate change in the subregion.

6. The Forum noted with dismay the seeming neglect of road and railway infrastructure especially along the economic corridors that link the Northeast subregion to the rest of the country. The Roads from Enugu to Maiduguri are in a deplorable State. Equally worse is the railway from Enugu up to Maiduguri which has been destroyed. 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. This is a major route for regional trade and is very important for integration, peace-building, and improving national unity.

7. The Forum agreed that all the States within the subregion are to domesticate the Education Law 2022, as recommended by the Northeast Education Council earlier constituted by the Forum.

8. The Forum charges the Northeast Development Commission (NEDC) to be more proactive with the issues of development in the sub-region. Its intervention should be well prioritized in the short, medium, and long term to take care of the sustainable development needs of the people within the subregion.

9. The forum resolved to promote subregional commerce among member States. It further agreed to resuscitate the northeast trade fair to be held in Bauchi in January 2024.

10. The Forum resolved to hold the 9th Meeting in Yola, Adamawa State between Friday 3rd – Saturday 4th – November 2023.

– Signed:
Professor Babagana Umaru Zulum, CON, mni, FNSE