Thirty-six governors under the auspices of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum have agreed to scale up testing measures in their various states to curb the rise in community spread of the dreaded coronavirus in the country.

This was the outcome of the 12th COVID-19 teleconference meeting of the NGF held on Wednesday.

The resolve is coming amid growing concern that COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the country, especially among those with pre-existing conditions and the elderly.

The number of COVID-19 positive cases in Nigeria has exceeded 30,000, according to an update by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) released late Wednesday.

The governors also resolved to consolidate Federal Government measures to gradually open the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

Also, they agreed to engage with the chairman of the National Economic Council, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to facilitate states’ representation in the implementation committee of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan.

Chairman of NGF and Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, in a communique further advocated the revitalisation of Nigeria’s Mortgage Bank to support the government’s ambitious housing programme, and the importance of the N2 trillion Nigeria Infrastructure Investment Fund to stimulate the economy.

“We resolved to collaborate with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and FERMA to ensure the implementation of the 5 percent user charge on the pump price of petrol and the international vehicle transit charge to better fund road projects in Nigeria,” the communique said.

“Although the second corruption survey focused on Federal Government agencies, members resolved to collaborate with UNODC to strengthen public complaints mechanisms across state MDAs given that state institutions, businesses and households are affected by bribe seeking among public sector officials.

“Collaborate with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to support the implementation of the National Gas Expansion Programme through a state-wide adoption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); easing gas pipeline right of way applications; and encouraging the micro stove assembly for small businesses, including facilitating training for gas operators.

“Finally, given the rise in the community spread of coronavirus cases with mild or no symptom, State governments are encouraged to ramp up testing to curb the spread of the virus especially amongst those with preexisting conditions and the elderly,” it said.



By Solomon Ayado,
Business Day

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