Governors from all the states in the South-West geopolitical zone on Monday met in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, and agreed to give quality education to the youths to ensure moral standards are maintained in order to enhance the zone’s development.
One centre each is to be donated by the state governors as Regional Centre of Excellence.
The governors also agreed to adopt a common framework on security by directing the Commissioners of Police in the zone to meet regularly and share intelligence to ensure safety in aerial, land and waterways with state governments supporting with critical resources.
They stated this in a communique issued after their meeting held in Ado Ekiti and read by the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose.
The governors also agreed to collaborate on energy and power, digital and telecoms; leisure and entertainment as well as water infrastructure by constituting a Regional Technical Working Group on South-West Integrated Infrastructural Development.
The forum approved the South-West Regional Integrated Commercial Agriculture Development Programme while Lagos is to champion a structured regional food exchange programme.
“The Odua Investment Group is to serve as a special purpose vehicle to drive the regional economic integration mission.
“Lagos will reinforce itself as a stakeholder and critical part of the Odua Investment Group as the vehicle for the socio-political and economic development of the South-West geopolitical zone of Nigeria within the framework of prospering the lot our people,” the communique read partly.
The next governors’ forum would hold in April in Ogun.
Earlier, Fayose had, while welcoming the governors, urged them to protect regional interest and the socio-economic development of the people.
Lamenting that the 2017 budget of the Federal Government was not in favour of the South-West, Fayose pointed out that the zone was one of the least beneficiaries in the 2017 budget.
The governors’ quarterly meeting held under the Development Agenda for Western Commission.
Those at the meeting, apart from Fayose, who was the host, were governors Rauf Aregbesola (Osun); Senator Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo); Dr. Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo); Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos); while Ogun State Deputy Governor, Mrs. Yetunde Onanuga, represented Governor Ibikunle Amosun.
Fayose also urged the governors to adopt a common strategy to curb the menace of herdsmen in the South-West so as to prevent the people of the zone from being consumed by hunger.
Alleging the marginalisation of the zone in the federal structure, Fayose said, “How much did the Federal Government allocate to irrigation, construction of dams and storage facilities to boost agriculture in the South-West?”