The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Thursday expressed concern over the state of insecurity in the nation.
The governors, in a communiqué signed by the NGF Chairman, Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State on Thursday in Abuja after the NGF teleconference meeting, expressed concerns about the impact of the state of insecurity on Nigerians , right to movement, and ultimately the country’s socio-economic development.
It added that the forum received an update on the implementation of the World Bank Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) programme from the Task Team Leader for the World Bank programme, Prof. Foluso Okunmadewa, in the company of the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri.
NG-CARES is an emergency programme to support state-level response to and recovery from the COVID-induced socioeconomic crisis.
It stated that the governors in response conveyed their commitment to secure and increase budget provisions that target the economic and social shocks in their states.
This, according to the governors, include social transfers, basic services, and livelihood support to poor and vulnerable households; food security and safe functioning of food supply chains; and the recovery of micro and small business enterprises.
“ Following a briefing by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Emmanuel Ehanire, on the Federal Government’s plan to develop 100 oxygen generation plants and rehabilitate general hospitals, in order to guarantee access to oxygen in all primary healthcare centres (PHCs) in the country, members of the forum resolved to interface with the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure oxygen sufficiency for all PHCs in the country.
“On the implementation of the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme a presentation by Senior Programme Manager of the NGF HelpDesk, Mr Olanrewaju Ajogbasile, dwelt specifically on the progress made by State governments on the deployment of e-procurement and contract award publication.
The communiqué stated that Ajogbasile disclosed that Thirty two States were already transitioning or implementing e-procurement systems in at least four ministries, including the State ministries of health, education, and public works).
The e-procurement and contract award publication is using the Open Contracting Data Standard (OCDS) format, the Forum resolved to deepen its current collaboration with Ernst & Young (EY) and the World Bank to strengthen the procurement plans and transaction implementation strategies of State governments.
The governors also received a briefing on the Nigerian Economy: New Perspectives, from Chief Economic Adviser to Mr. President, Dr Doyin Salami.
It added that after the briefing a consensus was reached by the governors to intensify economic diversification and food security initiatives including support for large scale all-season commercial farming.
“Consensus was also reached to strengthen fiscal sustainability by crowding in private investment; promoting the development of regional corridors and infrastructure plans; as well as curtailing the uncertainty associated with the oil and gas industry.”
The governors also pledged to the NNPC as well as security agencies in the country to protect the country’s oil infrastructure and investments as well as the ecosystem of the Niger Delta.