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Southern govs target 90,000MW power, want states to negotiate new minimum wage.

27th June 2024

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The Southern Governors’ Forum

The Southern Governors’ Forum, the umbrella body for 17 governors from the three geo-political zones of South-West, South-East and South-South has planned generating 90,000 MW of electricity to cater for the power needs of 90 million residents of the region

The forum said it is embarking on this project using the rule of thumb of 1,000 MW per 1 million population to arrive at its 90,000MW target

The member states have therefore been encouraged to take advantage of the recent constitutional amendment that now allows states to regulate, generate, transmit and distribute electricity whilst also considering renewable sources of energy to bring the dream to reality

This is just as the governors have also called for the consideration of the cost of living and ability of each state to pay the new minimum wage and therefore beckoned on the Federal Government to allow each state to negotiate the new minimum wage with the labor unions.

This was contained in a communique issued at the end of their meeting held on Monday in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital and made available to journalists on Thursday.

The communique was signed by all the 17 southern governors.

The governors are Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, newly elected Chairman of the Forum, Prof Charles Soludo, governor of Anambra State and Vice Chairman of the group, Gov Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, Sen Hope Uzodimma of Imo State, Abiodun Oyebanji of Ekiti State, Duoye Diri of Bayelsa, Ademola Adeleke of Osun State, and Pastor Umo Eno of Akwa Ibom State.

Others are Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State, Gov Bassey Otu of Cross Rivers, Francis Nwifuru of Ebonyi State, Lucky Ayedatiwa of Ondo State, Peter Mbah of Enugu, Sheriff Oborevwori of Delta and Dr Alex Otti of Abia State

In their 16 points communique, the Forum called for strengthening of fiscal federalism and devolution of powers and expressed concern over current practices where mineral licences are issued and explorations undertaken without recourse to State governments.

It noted that issuing mineral licences without carrying the states along have resulted in criminal activities, attendant negative environmental impact, ecological degradation, and with no remediation commitment or revenue accruing to the States or the Federal Government.

The governors maintained that being the economic and industrial region of the country, there was need to address the inadequate power supply in the region by taking advantage of the recent constitutional amendment that now allows States to regulate, generate, transmit and distribute electricity whilst also considering optional sources like renewables.

The southern governors said they have resolved to aggressively embark on energy transition plan from fossil fuels (petrol and diesel) to cleaner energy and specifically CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) and ultimately EV’s (Electric Vehicles) to help reduce the cost of transportation, which would lower the cost of food, goods and services of the citizens and residents.

The meeting also called on the Federal Government to rehabilitate, repair and reconstruct Trunk A roads and transfer some roads to States that have expressed interest in taking them over.

They applauded President Bola Tinubu for conceptualizing and commencing the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road, which cuts across eight states of the region.

The communique hinted that the governors have resolved to commission a regional multimodal transport master plan that would prioritise connectivity of rail, road, air and water transportation, to facilitate interstate, intra-regional movement of persons, goods and services and thereby enhancing the ease of doing business.

It further stated that Southern States Development Agenda would comprise of a team whose primary responsibility is to outline a holistic plan to foster trade and investment, sustainable growth and development, economic prosperity, social harmony and food security for the region would be set up.

The Development Agenda, the governors added would work hand in glove with individual State Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agencies, the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission and other relevant MDA’s and multilateral agencies as necessary.

On issue of state police, the governors resolved to continue to advocate for the creation of state police against the backdrop of the success of the regional community based security outfits, which have been effective in intelligence gathering.

The governors also resolved to remain united and committed to oneness of purpose, noting that the physical boundaries that divide the people of the south could not be compare to the strong bonds of enterprise, resilience and culture that they share.

The forum said it has resolved to be deliberate and intentional about intra region trade, partnerships and investment facilitation and promotion which was agreed would require a structured and coordinated collaborative approach.

The members of the Forum commended Mr. President Tinubu for the food palliative support to States and the laudable economic recovery reforms and policies through the implementation of the Renewed Hope Agenda pledging to support him in his unwavering resolve to reposition the country and build a greater future for all.

It would be recalled that at the end of the meeting, Prince Dapo Abiodun was chosen to provide the needed leadership as Chairman of the Forum, while Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo, the governor of Anambra State waa appointed as the Vice Chairman.

The communique concluded that quarterly meetings of the Forum would be held and rotated among member states.

The communique reads “At the end of the Southern Governors Forum meeting held on Monday, 24th June 2024, the following resolutions were made by the Governors:

“The Forum paid respects to the immediate past Chairman, late Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, and extended their courtesies to his family while appreciating the past Chairman for the solid foundation he laid by putting the forum in good stead.

“The forum thanked all member Governors for their support and commitment to the “Asaba declaration” which was a resolve to ensure that Southern Nigeria produced the Presidential Candidate.

The forum also thanked their counterparts in the North under the auspices of the Northern Governors’ Forum for their unwavering support for the resolution while also commending the laudable economic recovery reforms and policies of President Bola Tinubu and the implementation of the Renewed Hope Agenda (RHA).

It unanimously reaffirmed their support for him in his unwavering resolve to reposition the country and build a great future for all of us.

“The Southern Governors applauded the President for conceptualizing and commencing the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road project, which cuts across eight states.

“The forum noted that this laudable project will create employment in the construction industry ecosystem, boost productivity by drastically reducing travel time, promote tourism, and open up and integrate all the Southern States to more investment opportunities.

“The Southern governors advocated that the Federal government should rehabilitate, repair, and reconstruct Trunk A roads and transfer roads to states that have expressed interest in taking them over” the Forum added.



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