Governors in the northeast have resolved to set up a joint task force to ensure the protection of schools in the region in the wake of a spate of mass school abductions.
They reached the resolution at the fourth meeting of the group in Bauchi, where they also signalled support for community policing to address security challenges.
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According to the meeting’s communique presented by Adamawa governor Ahmadu Fintiri, they agreed to establish a “council on education” in efforts to reposition education in the northeast.
The council is mandated to improve quality and performance and set up a peer review mechanism.
Their meeting raised concerns that the region was shortchanged in capital appropriation in 2021 budget, citing the region’s precarious situation.
In attendance at the meeting were Borno governor Babagana Zulum as chair, Fintiri who is vice chair, Gombe governor Inuwa Yahaya, and Bauchi governor Bala Mohammed as host.
The governors of Taraba and Yobe were represented by their deputies.
Governor Fintiri also disclosed that the Bauchi forum which had discussions with the British High Commissioner to Nigeria and the Great Green Wall resolved to work with the UK Government on beneficial areas without compromising the sovereignty of the federal Government, while it appealed to the Great Green Wall to develop a framework for regional and State partnership for maximum impact.
While reiterating support to the North East Development Commission, the Governors urged the Agency to fast track the process of developing a master plan for its activities and cooperate with states in closing the needs gap.
It also considered the prospects of oil exploration in the region and resolved to have specialised institutions to provide the required local content and commended Bauchi and Gombe States who have taken the lead in establishing Oil and Gas Academy for human capital development.
The meeting also express disappointment with the pace of work on a critical infrastructure like the Mambilla hydroelectric power project which according to the forum only exists on paper, but not in reality and urged the federal Government to show the desired seriousness in view of its anticipated impact in turning around the fortunes of the sub-region and the country at large.
The forum is to meet again on June 2 in Jalingo, Taraba state capital.