Southern Governors Forum 2017: 5 Key Takeaways

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Wednesday, October 25, 2017  8.00AM/Proshare WebTV 

Governors from the 17 States that cover the Southern Region of Nigeria, converged in Lagos on Monday, October 23rd, 2017 for a strategic meeting, the first since 2005  which was hosted by former Governor Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. 

This covered the South-East, South-West and South-South zones of the country and was another opportunity for the Governors to forge a Southern Coalition in the areas of socio-economic development, commerce, industrialization amongst others. 

Proshare News brings you 5 key takeaways from the forum; 

A Robust Attendance
The Forum had a robust attendance as widely expected with 13 State Governors present, while Cross River, Delta and Anambra  sent their Deputy Governors. This was a welcome development as the leaders were ready to engage and discuss issues beyond political party borders with Governors Akinwunmi Ambode(Lagos) and Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom) as C0-Chairmen of the conference. 

Devolution of Powers & Fiscal Federalism
The Southern Governors Forum resolved at the end of its meeting to work collectively, in pushing for devolution of powers and achieving fiscal federalism. Reading the communiqué Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State was optimistic that the Southern Governors Forum will work assiduously to drive a robust and connected infrastructure, that will accelerate the economic development of the States in the Southern belt. According to Governor Ambode “Lagos State had fought and won several legal battles since 1999 that have systematically strengthened her autonomy and enhanced her fiscal viability. These victories belonged, not only to Lagos, but also to other states, adding that, if Lagos could achieve so much by fighting alone, the Southern Governors’ Forum will accomplish more through collective planning and strategy”.

Ambode to lead the SGF

Apart from serving as the chief host of the forum, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State was unanimously appointed as the Chairman of the SGF. Governors Sierakibe Dickson (Bayelsa) and David Umahi (Ebonyi) will serve as Co-Chairmen. 

Constitutional Amendment Review
The forum resolved that it will participate actively  in the ongoing 1999 constitution amendment, working with the State House of Assemblies to ensure a coordinated effort to strengthening democracy, federalism and the rule of law 

Port Harcourt, Next Destination
At the end of the engaging Southern Governors Forum in Lagos, it was resolved that the next destination for the meeting of the Governors will be Port Harcourt, Rivers State the “Treasure Base of Nigeria”. This marks opportunities for new partnership for the development of Southern Nigeria. 

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