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South East governors to unveil zone’s security outfit soon

Urge FG to reconsider Eastern Railway Corridor

The South-East Governors Forum (SGF), yesterday, disclosed that it has concluded arrangements to unveil the region’s security outfit and commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the progress of work on the Second Niger Bridge and Enugu International Airport.

It noted that after inaugurating the security outfit, they would send its bills to the five state Houses of Assembly for deliberation and passage into law. Its Chairman and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, who stated this in Abakaliki after a virtual meeting, also said the forum would liaise with the Federal Government to provide funds for the eastern railway corridor.

Umahi disclosed that there was presently no funding for the railway corridor, which cuts across the South-South, South East, North Central and North East regions, adding that the governors would dialogue with the Federal Government and governors of other regions that would benefit from the project.

“It is an existing railway line and it is very important to our people. It is just to repair the corridor and revamp the terminals,” Umahi said. The governor also said the forum would engage the contractor handling the Ajaokuta-Abuja-Kaduna gas pipeline to ensure that the South East was integrated into the project.

“Since the pipelines are traversing the South-South and South East, we feel the states in the region should also benefit from the project. So, we are also engaging the Federal Government on this,” he said.

He also commended President Buhari for funding the Second Niger Bridge and the Enugu International Airport renovation projects, saying the August 30 resumption of the Airport was on course, while work on the bridge was progressing and expected to be completed by 2022.

On resumption of schools, Umahi said the forum agreed that they would wait for the Federal Government to issue directives in line with the Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) guidelines, saying they were worried about primary and kindergarten kids, who may not be able to observe the safety protocols.

He said the forum had mandated teachers in the zone to undergo coronavirus test and that wearing of face mask was compulsory, stating that the forum had approved testing for people of 60 years and above, while health workers would commence house-to-house screening exercise.

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