• News - South South - Edo
  • Updated: January 19, 2024

South-south governors to reposition BRACED commission, call for constitutional review

South-south governors to reposition BRACED commission, call

Governors of the South-South states of Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo and Delta (BRACED) states have resolved to reposition the commission for regional development and economic growth.

The commission held its first meeting in Benin City, Edo State on Thursday with all the governors of the six states in attendance.

In a 16-point communique issued after the meeting and read by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo, who was also 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 socio-economic development and integration that would be mutually beneficial to the states which they are determined to sustain.

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

The communique further 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 to restart and accelerate its journey towards economic cooperation and integration.

The governors resolved “to foster regional economic cooperation and integration to achieve sustainable development through the creation of a strong regional economy for the collective benefit of the people of the South-South.

“Establish and inaugurate the BRACED Business Council 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 decentralisation 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 Attorneys-General 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 mangrove forest ecosystems of the South-South. And to work with the President of the country for the benefit of the region.”

The Director-General of the commission, Amb Joe Keshi, in a brief report, 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.

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