Northern Governors Strategizes to Reinvigorate NNN to be Economically Viable
By Alex Uangbaoje, Kaduna
The Chairman, Northern States Governors’ Forum and Executive Governor Of Borno State, Hon. Kashim Shettima, has revealed that the forum has put in place strategic plan to reinvigorate the New Nigeria Newspapers towards making it an economically viable and professionally competitive media organization in line with international best practice.
Governor Shettima who made the disclosure in Kaduna on Friday, as part of his achievements as the forum’s chairman, added that it was important for him to tell the public some of the things he has done in the region.
Part of the strategy he said, was the resolution of the misunderstanding between pensioners and the management, saying, “the Forum has also been able to resolve the misunderstanding between pensioners and the management of the New Nigeria Newspapers, to the extent that the process has began for the payment of the entitlements of pensions”
“This is part of the Forum’s strategic plan to reinvigorate the New Nigeria Newspapers towards making it an economically viable and professionally competitive in line with international best practice.”
“Sequel to persistent reports of drug abuse especially among the youths and women in the Northern States, the Forum initiated the move to fight the menace in a holistic and all-encompassing manner, by setting up committees of relevant stakeholders in each State of the region, towards ensuring eliminating the scourge of drug abuse. At the National level, the Forum made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to frontally deal with the issue of drug abuse and possibly declare a state of emergency in the fight against the scourge. It is gratifying to note that the Federal Government has heeded our call, which culminated in the setting up of the Marwa Committee against drug abuse.
“I would, at this juncture, extend the Forum’s appreciation to the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hajiya Hadiza Bala Usman, and Dr. Vincent, a professional psychiatrist for drawing the attention of the Forum to the problems associated with drug abuse and making invaluable and implementable recommendations on the way forward.
“The Forum, in a bid to attain some degree of financial independence, resolved to create a joint financial institution, which could serve as a vehicle for the region’s economic recovery and overall sectoral development. In pursuance of this objective, each state is to contribute N50 million monthly, for a period of six months. So far, we have N650 million out of the expected N5.7 billion.
“I am therefore calling on states that are yet to fulfil their pledge, to do so, in order to enable us embark on the implementation of the various programmes and projects articulated under the scheme. This include the establishment of a renewable energy plant, capable of generating 3000 – 4000MW of electricity.
“The Forum has also been able to make pragmatic initiatives towards the resuscitation of the New Nigeria Development Company in ortder to restore its position as the business and economic live-wire of the region. To this end, about six billion naira was approved by the Forum for the implementation of a five-year strategic development plan, which if properly executed would undoubtedly propel the region into economic prosperity.
“In addition, a new commodity marketing company was established, as a subsidiary of the NNDC, to develop and promote agricultural activities in the region. In order to further consolidate the economic base of the region, the NNDC had signed a memorandum of understanding with Savanna Petroleum Limited for the development of four oil blocks.
“Additionally, the NNDC has commenced negotiations with the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to venture into oil and gas exploration in the Northern region. Plans are also underway to resuscitate the Kaduna Textiles Company into full production of textile materials, which hopefully, would among other things, meet the uniform needs of our Armed Forces and other para-military agencies.”
The outgoing governor who is also attending his last meeting both as chairman and member of the forum, however, expressed his profound gratitude to his colleagues for their support and cooperation since 2015.
“I extend my appreciation to all my colleagues and the Secretariat of the NSGF for your support and cooperation, throughout the period I have been at the helm of affairs of the Forum. I appeal to Your Excellencies to extend similar support and cooperation to my successor. I also appeal to Your Excellencies for your forgiveness, if during my tenure as Chairman of the Forum, I had offended you in one way or another. He said.