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Program Analyst June 27, 2024

SOUTHERN GOVERNORS’ FORUMCOMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING OF THE GOVERNORS OF SOUTHERN NIGERIA AT THE OGUN STATE PRESIDENTIAL LODGE, G.R.A, IBARA, ABEOKUTA, OGUN STATE ON MONDAY, 24TH JUNE 2024


At the end of the Southern Governors Forum meeting held on Monday, 24th June 2024, the following resolutions were made by the Governors:
The Forum paid respects to the immediate past Chairman, late Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, and extended their courtesies to his family while appreciating the past Chairman for the solid foundation he laid by putting the forum in good stead.
The forum thanked all member Governors for their support and commitment to the “Asaba declaration” which was a resolve to ensure that Southern Nigeria produced the Presidential Candidate. The forum also thanked their counterparts in the North under the auspices of the Northern Governors’ Forum for their unwavering support for the resolution.
The Forum commended the laudable economic recovery reforms and policies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR and the implementation of the Renewed Hope Agenda (RHA). The Forum unanimously reaffirmed their support for him in his unwavering resolve to reposition the country and build a great future for all of us.
The Southern Governors applauded the President for conceptualizing and commencing the construction of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road project, which cuts across eight states. The forum noted that this laudable project will create employment in the construction industry ecosystem, boost productivity by drastically reducing travel time, promote tourism, and open up and integrate all the Southern States to more investment opportunities.
The Southern Governors advocated that the Federal government should rehabilitate, repair, and reconstruct Trunk A roads and transfer roads to states that have expressed interest in taking them over.
The Forum will commission a regional multimodal transport master plan that prioritizes connectivity by rail, road, air, and water to enhance regional connectivity and facilitate the interstate and intra-region ease of doing business.
Being the economic and industrial hub of the country, the Forum highlighted the need to address the inadequate power supply in the region. To achieve 90,000 MW of electricity to adequately serve the estimated 90 million people in the Southern Region (using the rule of thumb of 1,000 MW per 1 million population), member states were encouraged to take advantage of the recent constitutional amendment that now allows states to regulate, generate, transmit and distribute electricity whilst also considering renewable sources of energy. The forum also noted the pressing need for an alternative power infrastructure grid to reduce the impact of grid collapse in the region.
The Forum recognized the necessity of total PMS (petrol) deregulation and pledged support to the Energy Transition program of Mr. President. The Forum urged member states to implement a quick transition to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Electric Vehicles (EVs) as a condition precedent to full deregulation to cushion effects on citizens.
Members of the Forum commended Mr. President on the different food palliative support to the states by way of rice and grains. Governors were also commended for complementing Mr. President in their various states through several initiatives ranging from food palliatives to transport allowances. The forum resolved to be more aggressive and intentional about food security. All states were enjoined to intensify their agricultural resurgence/revolution initiatives based on the cash and food crops best suited for each region to achieve food sufficiency, self-reliance, and employment generation. States are encouraged to set up special agro-processing zones to extract the most value from the agro-value chain.
The Forum discussed the minimum wage issues demanded by labour and unanimously agreed that the minimum wage should be reflective of the cost of living and that each state should be allowed to negotiate its minimum wage. This led to the forum’s discussion on fiscal federalism and devolution of powers.
Southern Governors resolved to continue to advocate for the creation of state police against the success of community-based regional security outfits that have significantly helped intelligence gathering. It is believed that this will enable Governors to be Chief Security Officers indeed.
The Forum, still on fiscal federalism, discussed the issue of solid mineral exploration and exploitation which today remains on the exclusive list in the constitution. Member Governors expressed concern over current practices where minerals licenses are issued, and exploitations are undertaken without recourse to state governments. These continue to be carried out often attracting criminal activities and attendant negative environmental impact, ecological degradation with no remediation commitments, and no revenue accruing to both States and the Federal Government.
The Forum expressed concern over the controversy of the tenure of Local Government Chairmen in Rivers State and took a common stand in support of the position of the law and constitution.
The Forum members resolved to remain united and very committed to oneness of purpose noting that the physical boundaries that divide us do not compare to the strong bonds of enterprise, resilience, and culture that we share and unites us. Member States resolved to be deliberate about intra-region trade, partnerships, and investment facilitation and promotion which was agreed will require a structured and coordinated collaborative approach.
The Southern States Development Agenda (SSDA) will be set up and will comprise a team whose primary responsibility is to outline a holistic plan to foster trade and investment, sustainable growth and development, economic prosperity, social harmony, and food security for the region. They will work hand in glove with individual states’ Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agencies, the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), and other multilateral agencies.
The Forum unanimously chose His Excellency, Prince Dapo Abiodun CON, to provide the needed leadership and appointed His Excellency, Professor Charles Soludo CFR as Vice Chairman.
Members expressed their support for the newly appointed Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Forum.
The Forum concluded that its meetings should be held quarterly and rotated among member states.

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H.E. Prince Dapo Abiodun CON
Governor, Ogun State
Chairman, Southern Governors’ Forum

………………………………………..
H.E. Prof Charles C. Soludo CFR
Governor, Anambra State
Vice- Chariman, Southern Governors’ Forum

………………………………………..
H.E .Engr. Seyi Makinde
Governor, Oyo State

………………………………………..
H.E. Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu
Governor, Lagos State

………………………………………..
H.E. Mr Godwin Obaseki
Governor, Edo State

………………………………………..
H.E Sen Hope Uzodinma
Governor, Imo State

………………………………………..
H.E. Abiodun Oyebanji
Governor, Ekiti State

………………………………………..
HE Duoye Diri
Governor, Bayelsa State

………………………………………..
H.E. Ademola Adeleke
Governor, Osun State

………………………………………..
H.E. Pastor Umo Eno
Governor, Akwa lbom State

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H.E. Sir Siminalayi Fubara GSSRS
Governor, Rivers State

………………………………………..
H.E. Bassey Edet Otu
Governor, Cross Rivers State

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H.E. Rt. Hon. Francis O. Nwifuru
Governor, Ebonyi State

………………………………………..
H.E. Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa
Governor, Ondo State

………………………………………..
H.E. Dr Peter Ndubuisi Mbah
Governor, Enugu State

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H.E. Rt. Hon. (Elder) Sheriff Oborevwori
Governor, Delta State

………………………………………..
H.E. Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa
Governor, Ondo State

………………………………………..
HE Dr Alex Otti OFR
Governor, Abia State

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