SOUTHEAST governors on Sunday called for their region’s integration into the national rail and gas projects.

They vowed to liaise with the Federal Government to make funds available for the eastern railway corridor.

Chairman of the Forum and Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi, who briefed reporters after a virtual meeting of the governors, noted that there is no funding for the corridor, which cuts across Southsouth, Southeast, Northcentral and Northeast.

He said the governors would also hold talks with their colleagues whose states or regions are affected.

“It is an existing railway line and it is very important to our people. It is just to repair them and revamp the terminals,” Umahi said.

The governors said they would also engage the contractor handling the Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna gas pipeline to ensure that the Southeast is integrated into the project.

“Since the pipelines are going to come from the Southsouth and Southeast, we feel the states in the region should also benefit.

“So, we are also engaging the Federal Government on this,” Umahi said.

The governors thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for funding the second Niger Bridge construction and the Enugu International Airport renovation.

Umahi said the August 30 restart of the airport is on course while work on the bridge is progressing and is expected to be completed by 2022.

The governors, according to Umahi, also agreed to unveil the name of the joint security outfit of the region during their next meeting.

“After that, we will give go-ahead to our Attorneys-General to produce draft bills, which will then be sent to the five state Houses of Assembly for deliberation and passage into law,” he said.

On schools reopening, Umahi said the governors agreed to wait for the Federal Government’s decision.

He said it will be difficult for pupils in nursery and primary schools to maintain COVID-19 safety protocols, adding that the states would prepare for the reopening.

The Forum also waded into the rift between former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Anyim Pius Anyim and billionaire businessman, Prince Authur Eze.

The duo had engaged in a media war after Eze described Anyim as a failure in government.

The governors directed Ohaneze Ndigbo President-General Nnia Nwodo to interface with the two leaders to amicably resolve the rift.


Source: The Nation