His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel has proposed that the Federal Government leaves the rehabilitation and maintenance of Federal Roads to the respective State Governments.
He made this known in an address that he presented recently during the meeting of the Forum of South-South and South-East Governors. Read the address;
REMARKS BY THE CHAIRMAN, SOUTH-EAST / SOUTH-SOUTH GOVERNORS’ FORUM DURING A MEETING OF THE FORUM IN UYO, AKWA IBOM STATE ON SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2017.
On behalf of the Government and good people of Akwa Ibom State, I welcome you to your sister State. I feel greatly honoured not only in the confidence you have reposed in me to serve as the Chairman of this Forum, but also for conceding the hosting of this meeting to our dear State. As a people, we are indeed honoured by this gesture and we welcome you heartily.
2. Let me use this opportunity to once again, congratulate our brother, Mr. Willie Obiano on his successful re-election as Governor of Anambra State. His success at the polls speaks eloquently of the trust that the good people of Anambra State have in his ability to carry out the onerous task of building a safe, united and prosperous state for his people. I also wish to commend the people of Anambra State for the mature and responsible way they conducted themselves during the polls. This is a testimony to the deepening of the democratic culture and values among our people.
3. Since the inception of this Forum, our actions have shown that this body came at the right time. The commitment and zeal we have demonstrated to address the myriad of challenges that beset the two regions indicate that the formation of this body was long overdue. But that it has finally come is a testimony to our renewed strategy to build a leadership template that is in line with global best practices. The cooperation we are rapidly building and the forthrightness we are exuding in tackling our collective challenges are to say the least, re-assuring and I am confident that our people will be the better for it.
4. In our previous meetings, we identified some of our common problems which include the dearth of infrastructure in both regions, concerns on the rising tide of agitations in different parts of the country, the call for restructuring and issues of security. I am pleased with the pragmatic way we have approached these issues. This approach, which I hope we will sustain, will deepen understanding between the two regions and encourage a collective search for solutions. I enjoin all of us to see the sustenance of this cooperation as a legacy that we must institute and guard jealousy.
5. Our united position on these matters is a pointer to our similarities and common bond. While our collective resolve for an indivisible and indissoluble Nigeria remains a cherished principle, we wish to appeal to the Federal Government to demonstrate transparency in the area of allocation of resources to different parts of the country. It is indeed worrisome that allocations from the Federation Account do not seem to reflect the increase in crude oil production and pricing. If our people suffered on account of the slump in global oil prices, the rise in the prices should result in improved monthly allocations to the States to enable the Governors meet the yearnings and expectations of their people.
6. May I use this opportunity to register my profound appreciation to Your Excellencies for reaching the landmark decision that the two regions will henceforth go in the one direction that will be beneficial to the political future of the people of both regions. This decision is heart-warming and holds the hope for the political security of our people within the Nigerian entity. If the two regions build a strong harmony and cooperation as we envisage, then our bargaining power would be stronger and our voices would be heard even louder. Those who appear threatened by what our cooperation can do have been surreptitiously working at keeping us divided with the devil in the details. I am happy that there is a clear preparedness on our part to break this jinx.
7. There are still a cocktail of challenges that stare us in the face. As forward looking leaders, we must propose what we consider as solutions or options to the Federal Government. A case of close reference is the poor road infrastructure in the two regions. I wish to suggest that we should propose to the Federal Government to relinquish all federal roads to the States where such roads are located and facilitate a legislation that would authorise a concession of the roads. This would encourage State Governments to identify priority or economic roads and work out means of rehabilitating and maintaining them. Let me add that we have also noted, with dismay, the rather shoddy approach to infrastructural development by some agencies of the Federal Government. I am hoping that we will be able to impress on the Federal Government to direct the intervention agencies to liaise with the respective State Governments in the identification and provision of these infrastructure. This will ensure that the intervention by these agencies are in sync with the plans of the respective states and that greater attention is paid to the quality of the work being done by these agencies.
8. It is my fervent hope that the cooperation we are investing in today will yield many positive results for our people and ease the process of meeting their hopes and aspirations.
9. Once again, I welcome Your Excellencies to this land of promise and wish that we would have fruitful deliberations.
God bless all of us.