FG Evolving Special Intervention Programme To Boost Socio Economic Development In The North East -Pres. Jonathan

FG Evolving Special Intervention Programme To Boost Socio Economic Development In The North East -Pres. Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan announced Tuesday in Gombe that the Federal Government is currently evolving an intervention programme specifically targeted at accelerating the pace of socio-economic development in the North-East geo-political zone of the country.

Speaking at the opening of the 2
nd North-East Economic Summit, President Jonathan noted, however, that the re-establishment of peace and security in the zone was essential for the successful implementation of the measures and actions envisaged in the intervention programme.

The President therefore urged governments, traditional rulers, community leaders and the people of the North-East to give their full support to the armed forces and security agencies currently operating in the area to ensure the speedy return of peace and normalcy in areas affected by insurgency and acts of terrorism.

“My administration is committed to doing all within its powers and abilities to end the security problems of the North-East and help the region to productively harness its abundant resources once again for the benefit of its people and all other Nigerians.

“There can be no doubt that the unique experience that this region has had with Boko Haram necessitates aggressive and urgent action to revitalize its economy.  Such action entails a functional partnership involving the federal government, state and local governments as well as traditional leaders of thought in the region.

“There is a need for the North East to join forces with the Federal Government in articulating a unique transformation vision and plan to drive the region’s future.  The plan I envisage must be based on a partnership model in which all of us must play our respective roles,” President Jonathan said.
The President informed the gathering that the Federal Government was currently consulting with State Governments in the zone to define a shared vision, workable strategies and responsibilities of all stakeholders for the economic resurgence of the region.
He said that his administration will also welcome an input from participants at the summit to the process of defining roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders, including civil society and traditional groups, as well as timelines for specific actions and service delivery.
“While my administration has consistently rejected the notion that poverty and economic backwardness is primarily responsible for turning the North-East into a hotbed of insurgence and terrorist activity in recent years, we have never denied the need to give the region all possible support to enable it develop at the same pace as other parts of the country, provide improved living conditions for its people and contribute effectively to overall national economic growth.

“I am here with you today because I fully recognize that the North-East’s current security challenges which we are doing our utmost best to address make it even more imperative that it should receive the greatest possible support and cooperation from the federal government to enable governments in the region define and implement effective programmes that will accelerate the pace of post-crisis recovery and development,” President Jonathan further said.
Declaring his belief that the North-East has all the human and natural resources it requires to develop at the same pace as other geo-political zones of the country, the President paid tribute to great sons of the region such as Idris Alooma, Modibbo Adama, Buba Yaro, Mallam Yakubu, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Sir Kashim Ibrahim.

Referring to the vast agricultural potentials of the region, the President observed that many cash crops including Cotton, Groundnut, Gum Arabic, tea, coffee, oil palm and even cocoa could be profitably grown in the North-East.

“We shall give governments and citizens of the region all possible encouragement to key into our transformational plans and programmes  for boosting agricultural productivity which are aimed, not only at feeding our population, but also at reducing imports and increasing employment, as well as wealth creation through value addition to all our agro-products.

“We will continue to work with all stakeholders to enhance productivity, diversify the economy and create a conducive economic environment in all geo-political zones of the country.  We will also collaborate with State Governments in the North-East and other regions to ensure that we achieve all the Millennium Development Goals and expand opportunities for sustainable employment generation,” he also pledged. Before leaving Gombe, President Jonathan visited the Emir of Gombe, Alhaji Shehu Usman Abubakar at his palace and was honoured with the staging of a full Durbar to commemorate his visit.

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