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A call to action: North East governors

As Nigeria looks towards economic diversification and sustainable development, it is important that every region seizes the opportunity to contribute positively to this narrative. One…

As Nigeria looks towards economic diversification and sustainable development, it is important that every region seizes the opportunity to contribute positively to this narrative. One such region that has enormous untapped potential is North East Nigeria.

This part of the country is uniquely positioned to take advantage of significant investments in railway infrastructure, renewable energy, and aviation, and the leaders of this region have a historic opportunity to catalyse a transformation.

Railway infrastructure is the backbone of any successful economy. From stimulating urban growth to improving access to markets, the benefits are undeniable. The North East region has been lagging behind in terms of rail connectivity.

The governors of this region must make the modernisation and expansion of the railway network a top priority. By connecting cities and towns across the region and linking them to the wider national rail network, they can unlock massive economic potential.

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I propose for the formation of a North-East Investment Company, jointly owned by all states and local governments in the region, to facilitate these investments. Through this mechanism, the region can pool resources to fund necessary railway expansion and modernisation projects.

It can also serve as a vehicle for fostering public-private partnerships, attracting additional capital, and leveraging international expertise in railway construction and management.

Moving to the energy sector, the North East region is blessed with an abundant source of solar power, which is yet to be harnessed fully. The region enjoys one of the highest levels of solar irradiation in Nigeria, making it an ideal location for substantial investment in solar power.

The deployment of solar technologies will not only ensure the region’s energy independence but also create thousands of jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and contribute to Nigeria’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Again, the North East Investment Company can play a crucial role in encouraging private sector participation, attracting international investments, and coordinating efforts to build a robust solar power industry in the region.

Moreover, the development of this sector could pave the way for the region’s industrialisation, with a reliable and clean energy source powering industries and businesses.

Lastly, considering the vastness of the region and the connectivity challenges faced by its inhabitants, there is a compelling case for establishing a regional airline – North East Airlines. This initiative will boost regional integration, promote tourism, create jobs, and catalyse economic development. Public-private partnerships can be explored to finance, manage, and operate this airline efficiently.

Collectively, these strategic investments can revitalise the region’s economy, spur development, and improve the quality of life for its people. It is a call to the governors of the North East region of Nigeria to rethink their development strategies, take bold and collective steps, and embrace the spirit of cooperation for the greater good.

The time for change is now. The North East region has the potential to become an economic powerhouse, a renewable energy hub, and a vibrant transport nexus. Let’s make this vision a reality. The future is here. It’s green, it’s interconnected, and it’s airborne. Let’s embrace it together.


Hurso Adam, PhD resides in Abuja


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