Govs, Fubara, Diri, Eno Move To Reposition BRACED Commission For Socioeconomic Development

…Calls on FG to tackle infrastructural challenges in the region

Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara alongside the governors of Akwa-Ibom, Pst. Umo Eno, Bayelsa, Sen. Douye Diri and Delta, represented by the deputy, Chief Monday Onyeme attended the regional organization meeting under the auspices of the BRACED Commission (Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta).

The meeting hosted by Gov. Godwin Obaseki, held at the Executive Council Chamber of the Edo State Government House in Benin on Thursday.

In a 16-point communique after the meeting read by Gov. Godwin Obaseki, the newly elected Chairman of the Commission noted that the governors of the six South-South states were poised to reposition the Commission after a long period of inactivity stressing that the original goal was to promote regional socioeconomic development and integration that will be mutually beneficial to the states which they are determined to sustain.

The governors emphasised that there is the urgent need for a review of the Nigeria constitution such that more powers, resources and responsibilities are devolved to the states for faster economic growth and development, security and peaceful coexistence.

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They assured that the council has an obligation to properly position and strengthen the Commission to enable it accomplish the region’s desire to foster economic cooperation and integration among states of the South-South, noting that the region, its people and country will be the ultimate beneficiaries.

The communique stressed that the challenges of the Commission were surmountable and asked member states to join hands in addressing the problems as quickly as possible to enable the region restart and accelerate its journey towards economic cooperation and integration.

The governors further resolved “to foster regional economic cooperation and integration with a view to achieving sustainable development through the creation of a strong regional economy for the collective benefit of the people of the South-South”

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“Establish and inaugurate the BRACED Business Council in order to forge closer partnership with the Council to improve the business climate and attract investors and businesses into the region.

“To collectively engage the federal government on the development of key infrastructure in the region, particularly roads, rail development (fast train from Lagos to Calabar), the decentralization and rehabilitation of the seaports in the region as well as the management of security in the country.

“To direct the Commissioners of Environment and Attorney-Generals of the States to meet and collectively examine the feasibility of a regional environmental law and environmental blue carbon partnership for the protection of the mangroves forest ecosystems of the South-South. And to work with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the benefit of the region.

In a brief report, the Director General of the Commission, Amb. Joe Keshi noted that since inception the rationale behind the establishment in 2011 has been to improve agriculture, education, environment, power, security and utilisation of sports to empower youths of the region. He however, highlighted some challenges of the commission and urged the commission to take prompt actions to address the various issues affecting it.