From Austin Ajayi,Yola.
The six governors of the Northeastern zone have agreed to form a council on education to address the deficit in the sector and enhance human development in the region.
In a 13-point communique issued and read by Governor Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri of Adamawa State after a meeting in Yola, the governors decried the falling standards of education with a promise to take stringent measures to address the problem.
“Forum has agreed to form the North-east council on education and enforce UBEC laws to protect and ensure all children have an opportunity to acquire basic education,” Fintiri said.
On the security challenges, the governors said the region has witnessed relative improvement but regretted that the activities of Boko Haram insurgents, bandits, cattle rustlers and kidnappers still constitute a serious threat to sustainable development.
”Forum noted that there is relative improvement in security situation in the subregion, however, the activities of Boko Haram, bandits, cattle rustling and kidnappers are still constituting threat to sustainable development.
”While the forum commends the effort of the security agencies, in the subregion it intends to strengthen community policing and action to complement their efforts,” the forum noted.
The governors also noted dismay at the lacklustre attitude of the federal government towards provision of infrastructure for the area in its budget , noting that in the proposed 2021 budget, the federal government only made provision of a paltry N45.32 billion for infrastructural development in the region.
”Forum notes with dismay that despite the challenges of development, especially the infrastructural deficit in the north east, the 2021 proposed federal government budget makes provision only for N45.32bn for capital projects in the subregion. This represents a paltry 0.35 percent of the proposed N13.02trn.
“This means that the North-east is highly shortchanged. Forum demands a national assembly to review the 2021 budget in the spirit of equity and inclusion.
”It equally mandates the North-east caucus of both the senate and house of representatives to take steps to redress the imbalance.
”Forum noted that the subregion has been unfairly treated in the provision of road infrastructure by the federal ministry of works and housing and further noted with dismay the slow or outright non existent progress on the phase of roads already allocated in the subregion and call for immediate reactivation and review of existing road contracts in the subregion,” the communique added.