Governors of the North East on Thursday decried the allocation of N43.32 billion to the North-East Development Commission in the 2021 federal budget for the execution of capital projects in the entire region.
They described it as a paltry sum in the face of a daunting infrastructural deficit confronting the region.
This was contained in a communique issued by the governors of the six states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, and Yobe, met in Yola – under North East Governors’ forum – after their meeting on Thursday.
Governor Ahmadu Fintiri, the host governor read the communique at the close of the NEGF meeting, chaired by Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno state, attended by Governor Bala Mohammed, Bauchi; Inuwa Yahaya, Gombe State: while the governors of Yobe and Taraba were represented by their deputies.
Part of the communique read, “Forum, notes that there is relative improvement in the security situation in the sub-region. However, the activities of Boko Haram, bandits, cattle rustlers and kidnappers are still constituting a threat to sustainable development. While the Forum commends the effort of the security agencies in the sub-region, it agreed to strengthen community policing and action to complement their efforts.
“Forum notes with dismay, that despite the challenges of development especially the infrastructural deficit in the Northeast, the 2021 proposed budget makes provision for only 45.32 Billion Naira for Capital projects in the sub-region. This represents a paltry 0.35% of the proposed N13.02 Trillion Naira. This means that North-East is highly short-changed. Forum demands the National Assembly to review the 2021 budget in the spirit of equity and inclusion. It equally mandates the Northeast caucus of both the Senate and House of Representatives to take immediate steps to redress this imbalance.
“Forum notes that the Sub-region has been unfairly treated in the provision of roads infrastructure by the Federal Ministry of Works & Housing. It further noted with dismay the slow or outright non-existent progress on the pace of the roads already allocated in the sub-region and calls for the immediate reactivation and review of the comatose existing road contracts in the sub-region.
“The Forum notes with dismay, the lack of budgetary provision in respect of the Mambilla Hydro Project in the 2021 Budgetary Proposals and calls on the Federal Government to make the project a matter of serious priority, resolve all encumbrances around the project and order action on site.”