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Security, Regional Integration, Climate Change, Economic Development Top Agenda, As Governor Inuwa Presides Over NSGF Meeting In Kaduna

By Abdulwahab Muhammad, Bauchí.

...Governors Pay Tribute to Victims of Tragic Bombing At Tudun Biri Community 

The Chairman of the Northern States Governors' Forum (NSGF) and Governor of Gombe State, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya,  CON is currently presiding over the inaugural meeting of the forum at Sir Kashim House in Kaduna.  

The meeting focuses on improving security in the region, enhancing regional integration, addressing environmental problems to tackle climate change and promoting regional economic development.

While delivering his opening remarks, the NSGF Chairman said the forum was committed to addressing the security challenges of the region,  while commending the Federal Government for renewed vigour in the fight against insecurity, "we believe that more needs to be done to bring an end to the menace of kidnapping, banditry, communal clashes and terrorism bedevilling our region. 

"Security and development are intricately connected, and we must approach them collectively. Without security, there will be no development. Because investors can only invest in an environment where their assets and resources are secure", he said.

"Addressing these security challenges is crucial to the overall development and well-being of our region. In this regard, all the 19 northern governors stand united in our commitment to addressing those challenges through enhanced collaboration with security agencies, strengthening local law enforcement, community engagement and dialogue, adoption of modern technology, legal and administrative reforms, as well as addressing the root causes of insecurity such as poverty, unemployment and deepening social inequality", the chairman added.

On regional integration, the chairman said that promoting unity among states of the region is key to unlocking the full potential of the region, emphasizing that the concept of “One North, One Destiny” as espoused by the founding fathers of the Northern region which reflects the vision of fostering unity and collaboration across our diverse communities irrespective of tribe, religion or politics, must be sustained.

He added that considering the current trend towards restructuring, it is only safe to say that the future of Nigeria is regional, urging other governors in the region to prepare for the future by fast-tracking regional integration, maintaining that it will require collective investments in regional infrastructure, human capital development, trade and commerce, agriculture and environment, digital economy, and cultural exchanges to achieve this goal.

On regional economic development, the NSGF Chairman remarked that the Governors are committed "to repositioning the New Nigeria Development Company which was established in 1949 as the Northern Regional Production Development Board.  

"The NNDC has a crucial role to play as we seek to revive and diversify our ailing economy, enhance regional competitiveness, explore new opportunities and create jobs for our teeming youth."

On tackling the impact of climate change, Inuwa Yahaya noted that environmental challenges in northern Nigeria such as the climate change and unsustainable agricultural practices have plunged communities on the brink of disaster, threatening rural livelihoods, pushing farmers into conflict with herders, and adding to the general sense of poverty and insecurity.

He said collective efforts must be taken to address those issues by adopting policies that promote sustainable agriculture, rural resilience and conflict mitigation.

At the opening of the meeting, the Governors paid a special tribute to the people of Tudun-Biri community, who are victims of the tragic bombing incident by the Nigerian Army during counter-terrorism operations, assuring that all the 19 of them are working collectively to ensure that the tragic incident is thoroughly investigated, with a view to compensating the victims and taking corrective measures so as to prevent future occurrence.

Earlier in his welcome address, the host Governor,  Sen. Uba Sani of Kaduna State, noted that the Northern region has been grappling with challenges of insecurity with human development indices declining by the day. 

"For the Northern Governors Forum to remain relevant, we must forge unity among our people and collaborate on issues of development.

"We must fashion a Marshal Plan for the development of the North. Our situation is dire and requires concerted and sustained action", he said.

A communique is expected at the end of the meeting.

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