The Southwest Governors’ Forum has expressed concern on economic and security challenges posed by gridlock in the Apapa port and urged the Federal Government to create alternative routes.
Calling for the planned alternative routes linking Tin Can Island through Tomoro Island to Ibafo in Ogun State should be revived urgently, the forum suggested that government should enhance the capacity of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) to evacuate goods from the port to alternative terminals.
This was contained in a statement at the end of its meeting in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, yesterday, where the forum reiterated its commitment to regional integration as a key to sustainable development in western Nigeria, Guardian writes.
The forum said the recent report by the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) on out-of-school children in Nigeria should be addressed properly. It urged the Odu’a Investment Group to champion food security in the region.
Also, it asked the DAWN commission to engage institutions and development partners in accessing soil features in the region to boost agriculture.
“A realistic balance between governance, competing local interests and profitability must be of utmost consideration in factoring Odu’a Investment Group’s presence in states. Regional integration as a model for sustainable development is in the enlightened interest of Western Nigeria and the people should eschew divisive elements and actions,” the forum said.
The host, Osun State Governor Rauf Aregbesola urged the forum to show greater commitment to regional integration, while also re-echoing calls for restructuring of the country.