Governors Of Old Western Region Call For More Active Roll For States In Security
Resolve to explore possibilities to takeover reconstruction and management of Lagos-Ibadan, Shagamu-Benin Expressways
Feb 2, 2012 - Governors of the seven states that make up the Old Western Region on Thursday, in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, called for more active role for States in the protection of life and property of residents within their jurisdictions.
The Governors, who met at the Government House, Oke-Igben, Abeokuta, said such active roles could only be possible if the Governors have control of the various security agencies within their States. They, however, resolved to continue to protect all residents and visitors within their States.
In a communiqué read to newsmen by the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, after the meeting, the Governors noted "the precarious security situation in the country", and called for a convening of a broad based stakeholder's forum by the States consisting of legislators at national and state levels as well as other revered elders and leaders to be held in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital "in the shortest possible time".
The Governors also called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, review the concession agreement on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and its Shagamu-Benin part with the aim of ceding the roads to the states for proper maintenance.
According to the Governors, the importance of the roads which, according to them, serve as a major artery linking Lagos, the nation's economic capital, to the rest of the country makes the immediate review of the concession agreement very imperative.
They expressed deep concern about the deplorable state of the expressways and resolving to explore the possibilities of taking over the reconstruction and management of the roads. They also agreed on the need to create alternative roads and rail lines from Lagos to Asaba.
According to the Governors, "The national impact of the gridlocks daily witnessed on the two roads such as job losses, insecurity and economic wastages are inimical to the socio-economic development of the nation in general and the affected states in particular".
The Governors blamed the inefficiency in the distribution of Power in the country on the management of the distribution assets of power noting that it has become necessary to take ownership of the distribution assets in order to facilitate required partnership for effective power supply.
The Governors, who also deliberated on the issue of health, agriculture, education, rural development, social housing and other issues that are expected to be within the purview of the States, deplored the imbalance in the resource allocation to States that make up the Old Western Region given their contribution to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reaffirmed their determination to ensure that justice is done on the revenue allocation framework in the country.
It was also resolved that a full-fledged secretariat be established for the effective coordination of the goal to fully reintegrate the states in the Old Western Region and that a meeting of the Governors should hold frequently with a bi-monthly schedule agreed on.
"The proposed secretariat will when established immediately develop a blueprint and work plan on integration of the region and build on the work of the technical committee for integration as well as appoint in the shortest possible time an executive secretary", the Governors also agreed.
The meeting also resolved that Ibadan will be the permanent secretariat for the regional integration initiative while the meeting of the Governors will continue to be rotated amongst the participating members.
Earlier, before the meeting went into a closed door session, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) who addressed newsmen congratulated Governor Ibikunle Amosun for hosting the meeting.
Governor Fashola said the meeting was clearly an initiative in furtherance of good governance, adding, "It is instructive that the meeting is taking place across party lines but essentially to discuss developmental and economic issues affecting a critical zone of the Nigerian State".
"We will have much more to share with you members of the press on positions we have taken and about resolutions we may have taken about harnessing the diversities that represent the strength of the Nigerian State and the component States that make up the Federal Republic of Nigeria", Governor Fashola stated.
Also in attendance were the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, the host Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosu, Deputy Governor of Ondo State, , Alhaji Alli Olanusi who represented the Stat Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, and the Deputy Governor of Edo State, Barrister Pius Odubu, who represented the State Governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole.