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Governors Attribute Youth Restiveness To Social, Economic Inequality, Agree To Tackle Issue

Channels Television  
Updated November 6, 2020
A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

It is clear that the agitations by young Nigerians are attributable to social and economic inequality in the country.

This formed part of the resolutions reached by members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) at the meeting held on Wednesday.

As part of measures to reduce restiveness among the youths, the governors agreed to adopt the guidelines to be developed and issued by the Sub-Committee of the National Economic Council (NEC) on Engagement, at both the state and regional levels.

The meeting focused on the fallouts of the #ENDSARS protests, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, among other issues affecting the country.

The governors also resolved to engage with traditional and religious leaders, as well as various civil society organisations to drive a common agenda and generate the required support for security agencies in ensuring the safety of all citizens.

Following the looting which trailed the protest, they commend CACOVID for presenting the true situation of what transpired regarding the distribution of palliatives in the states.

The governors also agreed to enlighten the people about the various palliatives provided by the states, including cash transfers, food items, medical supplies, and tax incentives given to individual taxpayers and businesses.

They asked members of the forum to direct their commissioners of finance to sign the Subsidiary Grant Agreements of the World Bank’s State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme, with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning to give effect to the principles and objectives of the programme in their states.

Shortly after the meeting began, the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, briefed his colleagues on the #ENDSARS protests, the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the leadership of Horasis: The Global Visions Community, and the partnership of the NGF with the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

Governors Simon Lalong (Plateau), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), and Godwin Obaseki (Edo) also gave updates and made presentations at the meeting.

Read the full text of the communique issued at the end of the meeting below:

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, deliberated on issues affecting the country, particularly on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fallouts of the ENDSARS protests.

The NGF Chairman provided the following updates:

The ENDSARS protests and emphasising that the security situation in the country remains a priority agenda for Forum members across board;

The meeting on Friday 30th October 2020 with Mr President together with the leadership of Horasis the Global Visions Community conveying to members that the partnership with Horasis is envisaged to create a long-term strategic framework for Nigeria to be the African home for Horasis Annual Meetings in addition to establishing the Horasis – Nigeria Economic Development Council to assist the Government in the actualisation of its economic development goals.

The partnership of the NGF with the Nigerian Stock Exchange to organise a virtual event on the 17th of November 2020 with the support of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC) and other strategic partners in the country’s infrastructure financing space.

This event will discuss the entryway for privatisation in the development and performance of state economies.

The Forum also received the following updates and presentations:

The Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, provided a brief on steps taken by the governors of the 19 Northern States to address the fallouts of the EndSARS protests.

The Vice-Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, provided an update on the work of the National Economic Council Sub-Committee mandated to engage with youths, civil society organisations, religious, political and traditional leaders with the objective of framing a new security and stability architecture for the country.

This NEC Sub Committee was set up following the NEC Emergency meeting which held on Monday, 26th October 2020.

The Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 raised concerns about the current low testing numbers in the country, especially in the light of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases globally.

State governors were enjoined to increase their testing capacity in all local governments to help prevent the start of a second wave of the pandemic in the country flowing from imported cases from abroad.

The Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki provided an update on the status of the World Bank’s State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme.

The assessment of states’ amended budgets published at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has been completed while the verification exercise for the implementation of tax relief programmes in all states is underway.

The governor enjoined all state governments to immediately direct the signing of the new SFTAS Subsidiary Grant Agreement to give effect to the principles and objectives of the new additions to the program.

Thereafter, members of the Forum Resolved to:

Engage with traditional, religious and civil society organisations to drive a common agenda and generate the required support for security personnel who play a vital role in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all Nigerians;

Adopt at both the state and regional levels guidelines to be developed and issued by the NEC Sub-Committee on Engagement to reduce restiveness among young people as it is clear that these agitations are attributable to social and economic inequality in the country;

Commend CACOVID for presenting the true situation of what transpired in the light of the unfortunate misperception that attended the distribution of palliatives at the state level resolving that the NGF Chair should work with the CACOVID Chairperson to address the media in addition to members speaking up in their local settings.

Educate the citizenry about the various palliatives provided by the states including, cash transfers, food items, medical supplies, and tax incentives given to individual taxpayers and businesses.

Finally, Governors are to direct their Commissioners of Finance to sign the SFTAS Subsidiary Grant Agreements with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to give effect to the principles and objectives of the program in their states.

Governor Kayode Fayemi

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

4th November