…seeks cooperation in rail, ports devt, agric, security, others
Godwin Obaseki, the Edo State governor, has emerged as the chairman of the South-South States Commission (BRACED).
Obaseki hosted governors of the South-South states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta (BRACED) at the commission meeting where he was elected on Thursday.
Read also: Obaseki to host BRACED Commission governors
The meeting was held at the Edo State Government House, Benin City, and had all the governors in attendance, except Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta State, who was represented by his deputy, Monday Onyeme.
The commissioners of Budget and Planning from the six states were also in attendance.
In a statement to journalists, Obaseki said the meeting was held at a critical time in the history of Nigeria as the country faces enormous challenges.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, the newly elected chairman of the regional commission, said the meeting which was the first in the new dispensation, became necessary to address and proffer solutions to the critical challenges facing the region.
He said, “It’s against this background that the South-South region must redefine its place and roles in the economic development of Nigeria and for the benefit of our people.
“The director-general of the commission made a presentation, briefing the members on the work done by the commission since its inception, especially in the areas of agriculture, power, education, environment, and sports.
“The council members spoke of the compelling need to collectively accelerate the development of the states and affirmed their support for the imperatives of the South-South economic cooperation and integration as a practical step towards the creation of a zone of economic development.
Arising from this, the council expressed determination and commitment to drive the process for cooperation and integration in the zone and pledged to address the challenges faced by the BRACED Commission.
The communiqué further reads, “Accordingly, the council resolved as follows: To foster regional economic cooperation and integration to achieve sustainable development through the development of a strong regional economy for the collective benefits of the people of the South-South and invigorate the process of regional economic cooperation and integration.
“To establish and inaugurate the BRACED Business Council. This council should endeavour to forge a closer partnership with the business council and utilise it to provide an improved business climate to attract businesses and investors into the region.
“To collectively engage the Federal Government on the development of key infrastructure in the region particularly roads, rail development and the decentralization and rehabilitation of seaports in the region as well as management of security in the country at large.”
He continued: “To engage the NDDC to ensure its activities benefit the BRACED states.
“To direct the commissioners of environment and attorney-general of states to meet on climate issues affecting the States, particularly mangrove swamps.
“To forge a closer and cordial relationship with other regions for the creation of economic corridors that will be beneficial to the region.
Obaseki added, “To pledge our commitment to work with the President of the Federal Government of Nigeria to improve the standard of living of the people of the South-South region. The governors commit to work with and support each other to improve the well-being and welfare of the people of the South-South.”
“Finally, we directed the DG to take steps to implement all the decisions that we took today and report back to the council before our next meeting in March 2024 in Bayelsa State.”