North East govs to set up solar power plants

The North-East Governors’ Forum (NEGF), weekend resolved to set up a solar power plant that can generate a minimum of 10 Megawatts per state.

This is as the forum noted with dismay, the blackout experienced in the region over the last one month.

It also expressed concern over the nonchalant attitude exhibited by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in addressing the issue for the security and development of the region.

The vice chairman of the forum and Governor of Adamawa state, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the communique issued at the end of the 10th Meeting of the North-East Governors’ Forum (NEGF) held at the Government House, Bauchi.

Governor Fintiri however noted that, the forum is watching keenly the commitment made by TCN to restore power to all the states of the region and urged the federal government to direct the company to take immediate action.

He said the forum also noted with deep concern that the Northeast, is the only region in Nigeria that has one transmission line supplying six states with a land mass of nearly 300,000 square kilometres and a population of over 35 million which has made the region the most vulnerable and most disadvantaged for industrial development and economic growth.

In the communique, the forum called on the Minister of Power and indeed the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency to implement the extension of the 330KV transmission line from Makurdi – Gassol – Jalingo linking to Adamawa – Gombe – Bauchi and the extension of the 330KV line from Kano- Bauchi- Yobe, linking to Borno states.

“Forum reiterates its concern over the seeming neglect of the Northeast in the allocation of Federal Government Capital Projects. It noted with dismay that despite its cry for attention on the State of infrastructure in the region which has been consistently echoed in all its communique over the years, especially the poor road and railway infrastructure along the economic corridors that links the Northeast subregion to the rest of the country, nothing serious seems to be happening.

“The Roads from Enugu to Maiduguri is in deplorable State and the railway from Enugu up to Maiduguri has been destroyed. This is a major route for regional trade and very important for integration, peace building and improving national unity. The region is also not included in the National Infrastructure Plan for the transition from PMS to Compressed Gas. The Forum is calling on the Federal Government to look into the situation and consider the reconstruction of these basic infrastructure along Enugu-Maiduguri Economic Corridor and inclusion of NE in all National Development Plans and initiatives.

“Forum resolved to maximise the existing hydropower generated in Kashimbilla and Dadin Kowa dam which the region has not been benefitting from because of the Ministry of Power has failed to extend the 330KV line of Makurdi – Gassol- Jalingo line.The Forum notes that climate change and environmental degradation remains a reality in the region. It appreciates the various states for the policies they are putting in place to reclaim the environment and called for a more sustained and coordinated regional onslaught to reverse the speed of desertification in the region.”

The Forum reiterated its commitment to foster a common ground and pursue collective course for the benefit of their people.