The Northern Governors’ Forum is holding an emergency meeting in Kaduna to deliberate on issues surrounding insecurity, livestock management, Almajiris and poverty.
Chairman of the Forum, who is also the Governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong disclosed this while delivering his opening speech.
The Chairman said that the emergency meeting was summoned to address matters of urgent importance on the survival of the region, as well as the wellbieng of the people, NAN reports.
Lalung noted that the meeting was expected to receive briefing from a committee Chaired by Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, assigned to develop a comprehensive regional plan of action that could bring lasting solutions to the lingering crisis in the region.
According to him, another major issue to be deliberated upon is the issue of livestock management in the country, particularly the Northern region, which has continued to generate discussions, controversy, misinformation and even politicization.
“You are aware of the many attempts to find lasting solutions to the incessant farmers/herder clashes, cattle rustling and associated criminalities such as banditry, kidnapping amongst others,” he said.
The Chairman further explained that there will be deliberations on the National Livestock Transformation Plan adopted by the National Economic Council chaired by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
The plan seeks to support and strengthen the development of market driven ranches in the livestock ecosystem for improved productivity through breed improvement, pasture production, efficient land and water utilization.
“As a region that holds the comparative advantage in livestock management, as an economic and socio cultural vocation, we need to come up with a common front on how to synergize and draw from the funds available for the program and also ensure that we derive maximun benefit for our people.
“Hopefully, we shall develop strategies on how best to deal with misinformation about the National livestock plan which is sometimes confused with the rural grazing area project,” he added.
Lalong said that the clarification was important because of the urgent need to cultivate all stakeholders and provide a conducive environment for nomadic herders and those who rear livestock.
According to him, this can be achieved using the private/public partnership model.
The Chairman assured that, in the course of their engagement, the remodelled New Nigeria Development Company shopping mall will be commissioned.
He said that the remodelled complex was in line with the company’s mandate of promoting investments and enhancing commercial and industrial development of the region.
He recalled that, a committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Jigawa State Governor, Alhaji Badaru Abubakar to study the current structure, mission and vision of the Company and come up with a road map on how best to resusitate and reinvigorate the company.
“We have to think out of the box, especially, when it comes to the economy of our region which has so much needs that are staring us in the face everyday”.
The Chairman said that the Forum will continue its discourse on how to solve the almajiri phenomenon which had continued to be a social and security challenge for the region.
He therefore urged his counterparts to engage in a robust, open and frank discussion that will assist them to come up with practical and effective resolutions that would move the region to the next level.
“We cannot afford to do otherwise, because our people have entrusted us with their mandates and look up to us in dealing with their day to day challenges which includes poverty, illiteracy, insecurity and economic opportunities”.
The meeting drew Governors, their Deputies, Secretaries to the State governments from across the nineteen States of the Northern region