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Northern Govs meets in Kaduna, Security, Economic devt, others top on agenda

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Northern Govs meets in Kaduna, Security, Economic devt, others top on agenda

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By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna

Governors from the 19 northern states meeting in Kaduna Tuesday, with security, economic development, regional integration, human capital development, and the environment at the top of their agenda.

In his opening remarks, the Governor of Gombe State and Chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum, Muhammad Inuwa Yahaya, commended the collective strength and resilience of the governors in tackling the myriad challenges facing the region.

The meeting, held at the Sir Kashim Ibrahim Government House on Tuesday, saw Governor Yahaya expressed his elation in leading the efforts to address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

He stressed, “Let me use this opportunity to express our deepest sympathy and unwavering support to our colleagues and the people of Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, Plateau, and Zamfara States, who have been facing unprecedented security challenges recently.

“Let us stand together in solidarity by offering our firm commitment to supporting our fellow northern brethren during these difficult times.”

“Security remains a top priority on our agenda. During our last meeting, we reaffirmed our willingness to work with the Federal Government to provide lasting solutions to the security challenges plaguing our region.

“Since then, we have engaged in various discussions with the National Security Adviser, service chiefs, coalition of northern civil society groups, and other relevant stakeholders to chart a way forward for sustainable peace and stability in northern Nigeria.

“As the nation continues to deliberate on the issue of state police, it is important that we begin to explore state policing models built on the foundation of cooperation and collaboration among our northern states.”

Yahaya also emphasized on economic development, saying it’s paramount to the region’s prosperity, stating, “We consider economic development as the long-term solution to our security challenges. In this regard, the revitalization of the New Nigeria Development Company (NNDC) is at the heart of our economic agenda for northern Nigeria.

“We must also explore innovative ways to invest in critical infrastructure capable of unlocking the vast industrial and economic potentials of the northern region. I urge us not to lose focus but to strive, sustain, and enhance the legacies of our founding fathers.”

He maintained that environmental sustainability is equally crucial for both the present and future. Climate change, unsustainable agricultural practices, and population growth pose significant challenges to our communities.

“We must adopt holistic approaches that promote environmental conservation, sustainable agriculture, and responsible resource management to safeguard the livelihoods of our people and preserve our natural heritage for generations yet unborn.”

“Human capital development is vital to the progress and prosperity of our region. It is deeply troubling that Northern Nigeria currently bears the burden of the highest number of out-of-school children in the world.

“This is an unacceptable reality that we must urgently address. Every child deserves access to quality education and the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to succeed in today’s rapidly changing global economic landscape.

“As leaders, we have a moral obligation to invest massively in education and skills development, healthcare, and social services to unlock the full potential of our youth and empower future generations.

“Regional integration remains a cornerstone of our collective vision for a prosperous northern region. Let us deepen our collaborations in infrastructure development, human capital enhancement, trade, security cooperation, and cultural exchange. Together, we can unlock the full potential of our region and ensure inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the ever-competitive Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Finally, while thanking the host governor for making the meeting possible, he said, “This meeting is a demonstration of our collective resolve, determination, and unity. Our people are looking up to us in this period of extraordinary challenges.

“We cannot afford to fail them. I am confident that with your support and cooperation, we will overcome any obstacle and achieve our shared aspirations for a brighter future for the northern region and Nigeria at large”, he emphasized.