The Governor of Ekiti state, Ayodele Fayose, has urged Southwest governors to protect regional interest and the socio-economic development of the people.
Lamenting that the 2017 Budget of the Federal Government did not favour the South-West, Fayose pointed out that the zone had few projects allocated to it in the budget.
The governor spoke at the quarterly meeting of Southwest Governors in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State capital on Monday under the Development Agenda for Western Commission.
Those at the meeting were the host governor (Fayose); Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Osun), Senator Isiaka Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Dr Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo), Mr Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos ) and Senator Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga.
Describing the menace of herdsmen as a major impediment to the development of agriculture in the Southwest region, Fayose wondered how the people would continue to embrace farming, “when their investments are being lost daily.”
He called for unity and brotherliness among governors and leaders in the Southwest if they were serious about developing the zone.
“Therefore, to move the South-West zone forward, we must respect the political beliefs and opinions of others and we must not do anything that will undermine one another.”
To prove discrimination against the region by the Federal Government, Fayose pointed out that in the federal government’s 2017 budget of about N7trn, the only capital project allocated to Ekiti State is the Akure – Ado Ekiti road to which N250m was earmarked.
“What can N250m do on Akure–Ado road that is begging for reconstruction? There is even no guarantee that the N250m budgetary provision will be made available at the end of the day. I am sure this is applicable to other states too compared to other zones.
“We must therefore ask pertinent questions. How much did the federal government allocate to irrigation, construction of dams and storage facilities to boost agriculture in the Southwest?”