The British government has pledged its support to Gombe State  in areas of climate change mitigation,  industrial development and tracking delivery in the implementation of its 10-Year development plan.  The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing gave this indication when she hosted Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya at her official residence in Abuja. The two leaders discussed variety of topics,  including governance, investment, peace and security,  education and environment among others. The British envoy particularly noted that Gombe State is relatively secure and peaceful, commending the Governor for his visionary leadership and ensuring excellent inter-communal relations with Muslims and Christians working positively together in his state.

“I feel very impressed with His Excellency’s vision and his commitment to delivering for his people and I think this is the area where UK and Gombe State Government will collaborate”. The British High Commissioner also commended Governor Inuwa for aligning his 10-Year development plan with the sustainable development goals, and assured that the UK government will assist his efforts in tracking delivery and monitoring of progress through sharing of experience and other mechanisms of support. On the Muhammadu Buhari industrial park being set up by Governor Inuwa in Dadinkowa, Mrs Liang said: “the establishment of an industrial park linked directly to hydro electricity to take care of agricultural processing on local crops is a laudable and positive step. We hope to hear more about it so that we can connect some British investors to take advantage of it.

” On the issue of climate change,  I think you got very interesting initiative. So we are going to connect His Excellency’s team with our relevant departments dealing with different sources of climate finance”. Mrs Laing indicated the willingness of her country to take part in the upcoming Gombe State Investment Summit. I understand there’s plan for an investment summit in Gombe in May, so I think that will be the next stage where we’ll encourage some representation from our department of international trade to get there and start looking at particular areas around the industrial park and the climate change, while on the delivery module we can start in earnest to share our ideas”. Earlier, Governor Inuwa Yahaya informed his host that Gombe has developed its 10-Year Development Plan, christened Development Agenda for Gombe, DEVAGOM along with a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework (2021-2030) which sets the path to achieve rapid physical, social, and economic growth in the state in line with the Sustainable Development Goals. The document identifies five development pillars upon which DEVAGOM revolves; a strategic linkage of socio-economic and administrative anchorage that is also built on the model of the UN’s SDGs as a global trend.

“The pillars are those of Economic Development, Infrastructure Development, Social Development, Sustainable Development and Governance, Administrative and Institutional Development pillars. Each of the pillars has a wide range of underlying activities that border on the greater good of the people as government performs its duties within some basic institutional framework detailing the policy thrust, policy target and policy objectives and overall betterment of the people”.  He therefore requested for the UK Government’s support in the effective implementation of the plan and tracking progress towards achieving the set goals. Gombe state is currently setting up a Coordinating Research & Economic Intelligence Unit (CR/EIU) with the mandate to track our performance and progress towards achieving the goals of the DEVAGOM which will serve as guide for decision making by the Government, Stakeholders, Policy Makers, and the Public. We are therefore requesting the support of Her Majesty’s Government in building the data capacity for the unit to enable this tracking and as well as to strengthen technology driven Governance”.

The Governor also solicited for support and partnership with the UK to catalyze the efforts of his administration to manage the impact of climate change and towards coming up with climate mitigation strategy for Gombe State with a focus on community adaptation, infrastructure, low-cost climate appropriate technologies and regenerative agriculture. He said, ” In Gombe State,  we have a home-grown and community driven initiative that we call Gombe Goes Green ( 3G) which targets the planting of at least 1 million trees per annum to address deforestation and check the advancement of sahara desert while mitigating climate change. Gombe is also battling with devastating impact of land degradation with about 210 active gullies, though we have tackled some through NEWMAP and intend to do more under ACreSAL. All these require more intervention through partnership with the UK government “. Governor Inuwa also intimated the High Commissioner on the  1000 hectare Muhammadu Buhari industrial Park and the need to green the park as well as other industrial clusters in the state, even as he notified her of the forthcoming Gombe State Investment Summit,  coming up in May this year. The Governor was accompanied on the visit by the Commissioner of Finance and Economic Development,  Muhammad Gambo Magaji and Special Adviser on Budget Planning and Development Partners Coordination,  Dr.  Ishiyaku Mohammed