The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) under the chairmanship of the Governor of Kwara State, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has agreed to reduce demand for foreign exchange by discouraging dependence on imported goods and services.
This was part of what the forum outlined as urgent actions needed to tackle the interlinked issues of food inflation, naira depreciation and rising insecurity contained in the communique after they held an emergency virtual meeting on Tuesday to address the worsening security situation and food instability in the country.
The emergency meeting was held after briefings from National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu and the Department of State Services on the worsening hardship from rising prices and spreading violence.
According to the communique signed by the NGF chairman, the governors agreed to reduce demand for foreign exchange by discouraging dependence on imported goods and services.
He further explained that they also aim to boost foreign exchange supply by easing export requirements for commodities and increasing crude oil production.
He said “recognised the need to address the connection between food inflation, naira depreciation and rising insecurity across parts of the country from a systemic perspective and called for urgent discussions with and synergy amongst stakeholders in improving the situation in the shortest possible time.
“Agreed on the following immediate actions:Reduce Foreign Exchange Demand: by use of moral suasion to reduce dependence on foreign exchange, imported goods and services.
“Improve Foreign Exchange Supply: by easing commodity export requirements to encourage exportation and supply of foreign exchange; Curbing illegal export of solid minerals; and increasing crude oil production to earn more foreign exchange.
“To curb illegal export of solid minerals, the governors called for improved enforcement of existing laws,” the governors said.
They also pledged to review criminal justice laws in their states to enable quicker dispensation of justice for perpetrators of insecurity.
“Support improved Enforcement efforts: by reviewing the extant criminal justice laws in the States to ensure quick dispensation of justice on perpetrators of insecurity in the States.
“supporting the office of the National Security Adviser in the States to enhance the nature and quality of intelligence.
As a short-term measure, the governors committed to emergency food interventions in their states, including incentives for food production and releases from strategic reserves.
“Reiterated Governors’ commitment to deploying emergency food interventions, including incentivizing food production, and release of food items from strategic food reserves.
“And collaboration with food millers and commodity traders in their various States to boost food availability as an immediate short-term action,” he added.