The Nigeria Governors Forum has called for urgent fiscal measures to safeguard the liquidity of State governments, including the acceleration of an arrangement to suspend all State deductions and restructure all debt service payments on federal government and CBN-owned debts.
The Chairman of the Forum, governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State made this known on Wednesday at the end of the 2nd COVID-19 Teleconference Meeting of Nigeria Governors Forum to deliberate on the pandemic in the country.
Governor Fayemi said “following a briefing from the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning on fiscal measures taken by the federal government to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Forum called for urgent fiscal measures to safeguard the liquidity of State governments, including the acceleration of an arrangement to suspend all State deductions and restructure all debt service payments on federal government and CBN-owned debts”.
The thirty-six States governors also received briefing from the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq on stimulus incentives from the federal government to support vulnerable households across States cope with the expected loss of income and livelihoods in the coming months.
In view of the above, the NGF has therefore committed to leading the effort through State focal persons in charge of social protection to ensure that palliatives including food and cash transfers reach the most vulnerable population in all States.
“Members also resolved to leverage on the lockdown situations to send essential food items across borders as part of the palliatives so that perishables produced in one state get to states that need them unhindered”,NGF Chairman added.
Part of the discussion during the Teleconference Meeting of Governors was the legality or otherwise of lockdowns in other states around the country and therefore decided to maintain the status quo until the Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State resolves the matter with the Presidential Committee on Covid-19.
The COVID-19 Teleconference Meeting of Nigeria Governors Forum continues next week Wednesday.
By Saheed Badmus