The governors of several Northeastern states have publicly denounced the actions of illegal miners and asked for the federal government’s immediate assistance.
Concerns were also voiced about flooding in the region, which they said had caused property damage and disruptions to people’s ability to make a living.
These were included in a statement released following the 8th regular meeting of the North-East Governors Forum (NEGF) that took place over the weekend in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State.
Kashim Shettima, the Vice President, was present for the discussion.
The governors of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, and Yobe were reportedly also there, as reported by BANKPAWA Gombe and Taraba were both represented by their respective deputy governors.
The governors have expressed concern about the increasing prevalence of illegal mining in the region, noting that there is a correlation between mining and criminality.
In addition, climate change and environmental degradation were identified as important challenges affecting the region in the communique signed and read by the Forum’s Chairman and Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum.
Therefore, the Forum has urged all relevant governments to ensure that the provisions of local consent in Nigeria’s Mining Policy and the Land Use Act are strictly adhered to.
The governors have stated that the enormous charcoal industry has contributed to the silting of waterways and the resulting deforestation.
In addition, the statement emphasized the importance of enforcing “stern regulation to local authorities against compromise to granting approvals for such business.”
According to the statement from the Forum, “the Forum has resolved to key into the Global Initiative of Carbon Credi, the Great Green Wall, and other initiatives that will mitigate the devastating impact of climate change in the subregion.”
The Forum also resolved to have the Northeast Development Commission take a more aggressive approach to development concerns affecting the subregion. The needs and sustainable development of the people in the subregion should be prioritized over the short, medium, and long terms for its involvement to be effective.
The forum’s members have agreed to work together to boost trade within their subregion. In addition, it revived the Northeast Trade Fair scheduled for January 2024 in Bauchi.
“The Forum expressed its gratitude to Senator Kashim Shettima, Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and to the Government and People of Borno State for hosting the 8th meeting of the NEGF.”