In the bid to contain the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) across the country, Federal and State Governments on Wednesday unanimously resolved to collaborate on the establishment of test and isolation centres in all the 36 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State disclosed this while reading the communiqué from the 3rd NGF meeting where Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State was appointed as Chairman of the Sub-Committee on COVID-19 pandemic and falling oil prices in the Nigeria economy and the revenues of State governments.
“The Forum received an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from the Hon. Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehinare and his team.
“Governors pledged to work with the Ministry of Health to set up functional test and isolation centres in every state in the country.
“After an extensive discussion on the COVID-19 pandemic and falling oil prices in the Nigeria economy and the revenues of State governments, the Forum constituted a sub-committee consisting of Governors of Kaduna, Kebbi, Ogun, Nasarawa Edo and Jigawa to comprehensively review the trend and advice State Governments on the set of actions required to address challenges in our economy.
“The Governor of Kaduna was mandated to chair the Committee,” Governor Fayemi explained.
While responding to question on the timeline given to the Committee, he explained that: “it’s an emergency but we have not given them; they know the urgency of the situation and the Mallam el-Rufai committee will do this as soon as possible.”
In response to the Forum position on the Senate resolution calling on Mr President to brief the country, Governor Fayemi who commended the proactiveness of Federal and State Government health team in providing helpful information that will help Nigerians to take the necessary step.
“Every day, I noticed that we receive an address on the COVID-19 task force put together by the Federal Government and that task force addresses the country on almost a daily basis.
“We see the Hon. Minister of Health, we see the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, brief the nation. What the nation needs is the information, regularly delivered in order to keep the citizens well informed about steps to take. It really should not matter who is giving the conference on a daily basis,” he noted.
The Forum also received a presentation on fostering values-based leadership from the Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa led by its chairperson, Mrs Amina Oyagbola, after which members of the Forum resolved to engage the Institute through its secretariat.
In the same vein, the State Governors received a presentation from the Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr Laoye on the NGF-NEGS Economic Roundtable (NNER), a joint platform created by both institutions to facilitate public-private dialogues and develop joint programmes geared towards building the competitive advantages of States across clusters, geographic corridors and economic belts.
The Forum also adopted a strategy to operationalise the NGF-NESG Economic Roundtable and committed to constitute a Steering committee to provide governance to the partnership.
Also at the meeting which lasted for about three hours, the Governors received a presentation and invitation from the Global Citizen, led by its Vice Chairman, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede to co-host the Global Goal Live Festival in Lagos, Nigeria, and resolved to work with the Non-Governmental Organisation to provide a unique opportunity for Nigeria showcase and expand its SDG efforts on the global stage.
While commiserating with the Lagos State Government over the gas explosion that claimed over 20 lives, the Forum resolved to send a delegation to the State on Saturday, with the view to support the State.
Also in attendance at the meeting are: Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State who attended his first NGF meeting since the resumption of office, as well as Governors of Ogun, Katsina, Osun, Edo, Niger, Kebbi, Taraba, Ebonyi, Anambra, Sokoto, Adamawa, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Lagos, Borno, and Kwara, Jigawa states respectively.
Others include Deputy Governors of Akwa Ibom, Enugu, Zamfara, Benue and Rivers states respectively.
By Kehinde Akintola,