North-east Nigeria ‘short-changed’ in 2021 federal budget — Governors
The North-East Governors Forum has called for the execution of more Federal Government capital projects in 2021 to ensure the rapid development of the region.
The forum expressed disappointment over the provision of N45.32 billion for capital projects in the region in the Federal Government budget for 2021.
The governors made the appeal in a communique issued at the end of the Third Meeting of the forum on Friday in Yola.
They noted that despite the challenges of development, especially the infrastructural deficit in the region, the federal government 2021 budget failed to present equity in the distribution of federal projects.
“Forum notes with dismay, that despite the challenges of development especially, the infrastructural deficit in Northeast, the 2021 proposed budget makes provision for only N45.32 billion for capital projects in the region.
“This represent a paltry 0.35 per cent of the proposed N13.02 trillion and this means the Northeast is highly short changed.
“The Forum demands the National Assembly to review the 2021 budget in the spirit of equity and inclusion and we mandate the Northeast Caucus of both the Senate and House of Representatives to take immediate steps to redress this imbalance,” it said.
Equally, the forum noted that the region has been unfairly treated in the provision of roads infrastructure by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
It further noted with dismay the slow or outright non-existent progress on the pace of the roads already allocated in the region.
The forum called for immediate reactivation and review of the comatose existing road contracts in the region.
“The Forum notes with dismay, the lack of budgetary provision in respect of the Mambilla Hydro Project in the 2021 budget proposal.
“We are calling on the Federal Government to make the project a matter of serious priority, resolve all encumbrances around the project and order action on the site.
“The Forum critically examined the challenges of education in the region and resolved to adopt a regional approach, especially at the basic level.
“And the Forum agreed to form the Northeast Council on Education to transform the region’s educational sector,” it said.
Besides, the forum called on the Northeast Development Commission to expedite action on the development of the Northeast Strategic Master Plan.
The governors also examined the status of the post COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package of N2.3 trillion and praised the federal government for the noble initiative.
The forum however solicited for equitable and fair treatment especially in view of the economic and social challenges facing the region.