NGF To Engage Resident Doctors Over Planned Strike

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja

 

 

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has revealed plans to engage leaders of the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors, (NARD) over its planned industrial action.

The decision formed part of the communique issued at the end of the virtual meeting of the governors on Wednesday where they deliberated on a number of national issues including the COVID-19 pandemic.

NGF Chairman and Governor of Ekiti state, Kayode Fayemi said among other things the forum will work our modalities to reach a truce with the resident doctors to avert another crisis in the health sector.

He explained that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Education is also facilitating access to unrealized funds from the Universal Basic Education (UBE) fund while also waiting for an advisory from the Attorney General of the Federation on the call for a waiver on counterpart funds from states in the light of the impact of the COVID-19 on state finances.

He added that testing remains the number one priority for the government while 29 states have received funding from the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) project to strengthen their public health response to COVID-19.

Read Full Statement Below:

ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 15th TELECONFERENCE MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 19th AUGUST 2020
We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, deliberated on issues affecting the country, particularly the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The NGF Chairman provided an update on the following:

Discussions are ongoing with the Federal Government through the Ministry of Education to facilitate access to unrealized funds from the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Fund. The Forum is also awaiting an advisory from the Attorney General of the Federation on the call for a waiver on counterpart funds from States in the light of the impact of the COVID-19 on State finances.

29 States have received funding from the Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) project to strengthen their public health response to COVID-19. Testing remains the number one priority for the government. 32 States in the country now have molecular laboratories while investments are being directed to the remaining 4 States.

Data from COVID-19 tests conducted in the country show that 20 local government areas in the country account for 50 percent of the COVID-19 cases recorded. In light of this, all State governments will be required to scale up risk communications campaigns in these areas through State and local structures.

The NEC Security Ad-Hoc Committee comprising the Governors of Ekiti, Katsina, Borno, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Kogi, and Lagos met with Mr. President on 11th August 2020 to present the concerns of governors on the security situation in the country. At the meeting, the President called for better inter-service coordination and assured governors that necessary security equipment was being provided to the security agencies.

The Forum also received updates from the following:
The Forum received an update from H.E Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who’s leading the NGF Committee interfacing with the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation on the implementation of Executive Order 10. The Committee is currently working on a template acceptable to all parties for the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.

The NGF HelpDesk Programme Manager, Mr. Olanrewaju Ajogbasile provided an update on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme. The NGF in collaboration with the World Bank has negotiated a flexible payment term for the acquisition of a Software as a Service (SaaS) e-procurement solution for all States in the country. States can now make 30% advance payment for the solution after signing the framework contract. The software which is aimed at improving public procurement in the country has many advantages over traditional models of business software installation including lower upfront cost, quick set up and deployment, easy upgrade, accessibility and scalability.

States were also encouraged to publish a Consolidated Revenue Code, Public Procurement Law and Debt Management Law on or before 30th September 2020 to be assessed under the SFTAS 2019 Annual Performance Assessment (APA)

Thereafter, members of the Forum resolved as follows:

Scale up the implementation of the Risk Communications Community Engagement (RCCE) strategy developed by the Presidential Task on COVID-19. The strategy will provide the necessary impetus on communicating with the public so that communities can curtail the spread of COVID-19 in a sustainable approach. State governments will also be able to identify and engage with all the relevant multisectoral partners as the success of this strategy. Commissioners of information are to head this exercise nationwide.

The Forum will continue to engage with the federal government on the suspension of State counterpart funds required for accessing the UBE Fund and the Basic Health Care Provision Fund based on the recommendations of the National Economic Council Ad-Hoc Committee on COVID-19 chaired by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo.

State governments will continue to provide appropriate support to the independent verification teams from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) who are currently in States to conduct the 2019 Annual Performance Assessment for the SFTAS programme.

The States are to engage the officials of the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors NARD in order to forestall their intention to embark on industrial action.

PHOTOS: Buhari Meets With NGF Security Council, Service Chiefs

President Muhammadu Buhari meets with Service Chiefs on August 11, 2020

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has again met with members of the Nigeria Governors Forum Security Council and Service Chiefs at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. 

The meeting which took place at the Council Chambers had in attendance, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, the National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), the Chief of Staff to the President Prof Ibrahim Gambari and Heads of other security agencies.

NGF To Meet Buhari Over Security Challenges

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja.

 

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has resolved to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the security challenges facing the country.

The governors expressed concerns over what they described as the rapidly degenerating security situation across the nation.

In a communique issued by the chairman of the Forum, Kayode Fayemi, after the 14th teleconference meeting in Abuja, stated that the NEC Ad-Hoc Committee on Security and Policing met on Tuesday 4th August 2020 with the heads of the nation’s security agencies to discuss and review the security challenges in the country.

Attack On Borno Governor’s Convoy

A file photo of Borno State Governor, Professor Babagana Zulum. Photo: [email protected]

The governors raised concerns over the recent attack on the convoy of the Borno State Governor by members of the Boko Haram terrorists.

The convoy of the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, was attacked by members of the terrorist group on July 29, 2020.

Governor Zulum had departed Maiduguri, the state capital for the northern part of the state in continuation of the food distribution programme which he started earlier in July.

He was scheduled to visit Baga, a fishing town on the shores of the Lake Chad region which has been under the control of insurgents for many years until the military declared its liberation, insisting no Nigerian territory is under the control of Boko Haram.

But, few kilometers to Baga, gunmen opened fire on the Governor and his entourage.

The Governor was forced to retreat as security operatives on escort duties repelled the attackers.

Governor Fayemi disclosed that the resolutions reached will soon be presented to the President.

Universal Basic Funds: NGF Negotiates With FG

A file photo of Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi
A file photo of Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi and chairman of NGF

The NGF also announced that the forum is negotiating with the Federal government to waive the requirement that state governments provide counterpart funds before they can access Universal Basic Education (UBE) Funds.

“The governors also deliberated on the ongoing negotiation between the NGF and the Federal Government to waive the requirement that State governments provide counterpart funds before they can access Universal Basic Education (UBE) Funds.

“The move was taken in the light of the impact of COVID-19 which has affected the capacity of State governments to provide counterpart funds required to access various national funds and statutory levies”.

The UBE facility was created by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration to help provide facelifts to schools at the basic education level (primary and junior secondary).

NGF Intervenes In NARD Strike

file photo of some resident doctors protesting over slash of salaries

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) in June intervened in the nationwide strike by members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

Following a meeting between the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, and the leadership of the association.

The Chairman stated that some of the States Governments still have unresolved issues with the Resident Doctors and enjoined Governors to engage with the State branches of the Association to resolve these disputes.

Some of the issues include unpaid salaries for doctors and the non-domestication and non-implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act, 2017.

 

Read Full Communique Below:

Communiqué ISSUED AT THE END
OF THE 14thTELECONFERENCE MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 5th AUGUST 2020.

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

1. The NGF Chairman Dr. John Kayode Fayemi provided an update on:

a. The finalization of plans for the flag-off and distribution of food items to vulnerable persons in all the 36 States by the Forum with the private sector-led Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID). The kick-off which started in Borno, Edo, Enugu and Kano State on Tuesday 4th August 2020, will hold daily in at least one State in each geopolitical zone until 11th August 2020.

b. The recent attack on the convoy of the Borno State Governor Professor Babagana Umara Zulum and the rapidly degenerating state of security across the country. The Chairman stated that the NEC Ad-Hoc Committee on Security and Policing met on Tuesday 4th August 2020 with the heads of the nation’s security agencies to discuss and review the security challenges in the country. According to the Chairman, Resolutions reached will be presented to Mr. President shortly.

c. The meeting deliberated on the ongoing negotiation between the NGF and the federal government to waive the requirement that State governments provide counterpart funds before they can access Universal Basic Education (UBE) Funds. The move was taken in the light of the impact of COVID-19 which has affected the capacity of State governments to provide counterpart funds required to access various national funds and statutory levies.

d. The collaboration between the NGF and the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL) to organize a Webinar on Governance and Insecurity Challenges in the country was discussed. The Webinar will facilitate an interaction between Governors and the public to shed more light on some of the strategies deployed to tackle insecurity amidst the battle against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

e. The intervention of the Forum in the nationwide strike action by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in June 2020. The Chairman stated that some of the States Governments still have unresolved issues with the Resident Doctors and enjoined Governors to engage with the State branches of the Association to resolve these disputes. Some of the issues include unpaid salaries for doctors and the non-domestication and non-implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act, 2017.

2. The Forum received further updates from:

a. Alhaji Aliko Dangote on behalf of the Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) on the flag-off and distribution of CACOVID palliatives to States. The flag-off started on Tuesday, 4th August 2020 in Borno, Edo, Enugu, and Kano States.

The launch is ongoing and will hold daily across one State each in the six geopolitical zones until Tuesday 11th August 2020 when it will be concluded in all 36 States of the Federation.b.The Honourable Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba briefed members on guidelines for the resumption of schools in the country.

The Ministry has been engaging with governors through the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and through regular meetings with State Commissioners for Education.c.The Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Governor Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa of Delta State.

Dr. Okowa briefed Governors of the measures discussed with the PTF on reopening the economy. His update highlighted concerns such as guidelines required to reopen schools; resumption of international flights; the need for increased testing capacity and sample collection centers in all local government areas in the country; disbursement of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund and other health-related facilities; dissemination of guidelines for home care for COVID-19 cases; and the non-availability of reagents in the country due to its high demand globally.

d. The Programme Manager NGF HelpDesk -SFTAS Technical Assistance Project, Olanrewaju Ajogbasile provided an update on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and (SFTAS) program and pending actions for State governments, including the publication of comprehensive audited financial statements by five (5) remaining States and preparations for the 2019 SFTAS Annual Performance Assessment (APA) exercise to be conducted by the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) starting 9th August 2020.

Thereafter, members of the Forum Resolved as follows:

1. All COVID-19 Task Forces in the various States will work closely with their Palliatives Implementation Committees to target the most vulnerable population in society for the distribution of the CACOVID palliatives, particularly in local governments that have been identified as epicenters. States will also take cognizance of the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 infection and should start preparing preventive measures.

2. The Forum will continue to engage with the federal government on the suspension of State counterpart funds required for accessing UBE funds. The Forum had adopted the Report of the National Economic Council Ad-Hoc Committee on COVID-19 chaired by the Vice President, which recommended the immediate suspension of the requirement for State Governments to provide matching funds to access grants like UBEC.

3. In preparation for the 2019 Annual Performance Assessment of the SFTAS program which is expected to start from 9th August 2020, State governments will ensure appropriate health and security measures are put in place to ensure a seamless exercise by the teams from the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF).

4. The NGF Secretariat will provide Technical Assistance to the remaining five (5) States yet to publish their Audited Financial Statement(AFS).

5. Lastly, State governments with unresolved issues with their Resident Doctors were enjoined to meet with the Association at least at the local level to agree on workable solutions in the face of the current challenges in the country.

SIGNED:
Governor Kayode Fayemi,
Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum
5th August 2020.

COVID-19: Governors Meet Over Reopening Of Economy, Other Issues

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

Members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) met on Wednesday to discuss issues affecting the country, including the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Nigerians and the economy.

At the meeting which held virtually and was presided by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, the governors resolved to approve the work of the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, to consolidate measures to gradually open the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who is the chairman of the committee, had briefed the Forum on steps taken to provide a coordinated strategy between the Federal and state governments to ease the lockdown and open the economy.

His counterpart in Kaduna State, Governor Nasir El-Rufai, also provided an update on the implementation of the final report of the NEC Ad-Hoc Committee on COVID-19 “Containing the Outbreak and Responding to the Adverse Economic Effects,” which was presented to the Vice President and Chairman of the Committee, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, in March.

Governor El-Rufai, who is the Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee on COVID-19, informed his colleagues that the recommendations of the report have been integrated into the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).

He also outlined the cross-cutting imperatives for a post-COVID economic recovery, including a unique identity system for Nigeria, broadband connectivity, and investment in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical generics.

Others are research and development, as well as institutional reforms for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) along the lines of PENCOM.

 

In their resolution, the governors endorsed the work of the sub-committee and resolved to engage with the Vice President to facilitate states’ representation in the implementation committee of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan.

They also called for the revitalisation of the Nigeria’s Mortgage Bank to support the government’s housing programme, as well as the importance of the N2 trillion Nigeria Infrastructure Investment Fund to stimulate the economy.

Concerned about the rate of the community spread of COVID-19 cases with mild or no symptoms, the NGF urged the state governments to ramp up testing to curb the spread of the virus.

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

ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 12th COVID-19 TELECONFERENCE MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 8th JULY 2020

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, Wednesday, 8th July 2020 deliberated on issues affecting the country including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NGF Chairman provided an update on:

The World Bank Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) programme which is a US$100 million COVID-19 support from the federal government to fund health mitigation measures across states.

The Fund comes at a critical time as the impact of COVID-19 prolongs and when State governments prepare for the reopening of the economy, and it will support broader mitigation measures required to ensure seamless easing of the lockdown across States.

The COVID19 pandemic and the new strategy being rolled out by the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) to address the spread of the pandemic.

LGAs with a high burden of diseases (hotspot) have been identified and targeted with interventions such as increased testing, and promotion of non-pharmaceutical intervention including hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, mandatory masking in public, and partial or total lockdown restricting movement.

The PTF will reach out and work with the Governors of the respective States to implement the strategy.

Other matters of concern including deductions from the federation account to fund the North East Development Commission (NEDC); stamp duty collection; ownership of the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG); as well as the contentious Executive Order 10.

The Forum also received updates and presentations from:

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 to provide a coordinated strategy between the Federal and State governments to ease the lockdown and open the economy.

The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee on COVID-19 who provided an update on the implementation of the Final Report of the NEC Ad-Hoc Committee on COVID-19 “Containing the Outbreak and Responding to the Adverse Economic Effects” which was presented to the Vice President and Chairman of the Committee, Professor Yemi Osinbajo in March 2020.

The Governor noted that the recommendations of the report have been integrated into the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP).

He also highlighted cross-cutting imperatives for a post-COVID economic recovery, including a unique identity system for Nigeria; broadband connectivity; investment in the manufacturing of pharmaceutical generics; research and development; as well as institutional reforms for the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) along the lines of PENCOM.

Engr. Nuruddeen Rafindadi, Managing Director, Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) who made a presentation on FERMA’s Road Maintenance Programme and Challenges.

Oliver Stolpe, Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Nigeria and Dr Yemi Kale, Statistician-General, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) presented findings of the second Corruption Survey in Nigeria, which showed that the incidence of bribery has decreased since 2016 when the survey was first conducted, from 32.3% to 30.2%.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva also addressed the Forum on the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) which is designed as a catalyst to adding value to the vast natural gas reserves in Nigeria.

The plan will also spur revitalisation across gas-based industries in fertilizer, methanol, textiles, and feedstock for industries.

Thereafter, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum resolved as follows to:

Endorse the work of Governor Okowa’s Committee to consolidate measures to gradually open the formal and informal sectors of the economy.

Endorse the work of the El-Rufai Committee and resolved to engage with the Vice President and Chairman of the National Economic Council, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to facilitate States’ representation in the implementation committee of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan.

Members also advocated for the need to revitalise 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.

Collaborate with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and FERMA to ensure the implementation of the 5% user charge on the pump price of petrol and the international vehicle transit charge to better fund road projects in Nigeria.

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 symptoms, State governments are encouraged to ramp up testing to curb the spread of the virus especially amongst those with pre-existing conditions and the elderly.

Governor Kayode Fayemi

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

8th July 2020

Governors To Interface With Health Ministries Over Doctors’ Demands

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

 

Members of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have agreed to interface with the Federal and State Ministries of Health to address the concerns of resident doctors in the country.

This formed part of the resolutions of the governors at the 11th NGF COVID-19 teleconference held on Wednesday.

In a bid to review the concerns of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the governors promised to ensure that backlog of salaries was settled where such exist, and reintegrate residency training in state hospitals where they have been suspended.

They also resolved to ensure the ministries provide protective equipment and ensure sustainable pathways to uphold the welfare of doctors in an effective and efficient manner.

During the meeting, NARD President, Dr Sokomba Aliyu, had conveyed the concerns of resident doctors to the governors.

He decried the non-implementation of residency training in most states of the federation, non-payment of salaries, and the use of inappropriate salary structures in some states.

Dr Aliyu informed the meeting that a state had cut the salaries of civil servants by 25 per cent across the board, noting that the resident doctors were also affected.

According to him, there was no basis for slashing the salaries of his members who instead of staying at home are encountering even added challenges at work.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, presented a newly developed three-year Health Sector COVID-19 Response Action Plan to the governors.

He explained that the plan was aimed at repositioning the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic over a medium-term outlook.

Dr Ehanire gave an assurance that about a million Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) were available for healthcare workers in the various facilities across the country.

Supported by the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Mohammed Sambo, and the Executive Director/CEO of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, the minister provided clarifications on observations raised by the states on the new guidelines on the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund.

Among other resolutions, the governors commended the efforts of those involved in the process of ensuring Nigeria attains its latest status on wild polio.

Read the communique issued at the end of the teleconference below:

ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 11th COVID-19 TELECONFERENCE MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 24th JUNE 2020

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, Wednesday, June 24, 2020 deliberated on a set of issues affecting the country, especially the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, not just on the citizenry but on the economy as well.

The NGF Chairman provided an update on:

The Forum’s conscious intervention in ending the strike action of the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), who had commenced a nationwide strike on Monday 15th June 2020 over unpaid salaries, improved hazard allowances, the unavailability of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for frontline workers and those of their colleagues working in high-risk areas, non-domestication and non-implementation of Medical Residency Training Act.

The harmonisation of Right of Way (RoW) charges across States and bilateral discussions with the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami, geared towards promoting investments in broadband infrastructure in the country.

The Forum received further updates and presentations from:

The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, Chairman of the NGF State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Sub-Committee interfacing with the World Bank to facilitate the provision of Additional Financing for States to support governments’ response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The World Bank Task Team Leader for the SFTAS program, Yue Man Lee who provided an update on the 2019 Annual Performance Assessment and preparatory arrangements for the US$750 Additional Financing.

The Honourable Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, who presented a newly developed 3-year Health Sector COVID-19 Response Action Plan which is aimed at repositioning the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic over a medium-term outlook. The Minister also assured State governments of the availability of about a million Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for health care workers in the various facilities throughout the country.

The Honourable Minister of Health, supported by the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), Professor Mohammed Sambo and the Executive Director/CEO of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr Faisal Shuaib also provided clarifications on observations raised by the states on the new guidelines on the implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund and the need to fast track its release in the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, when increased health response is required and when State governments are experiencing financial strains that threaten their ability to meet counterpart obligations.

The President of the National Association of Resident Doctors, Dr. Sokomba Aliyu also made a presentation conveying the concerns of resident doctors including, among others, the non-implementation of residency training in most States of the federation, non-payment of salaries and the use of inappropriate salary structures in some States. Dr. Sokomba Aliyu also told Governors about a particular state where a 25% salary cut across board also affected resident doctors most of whom continued to work, arguing that there was no basis for slashing the salaries of his members who instead of staying at home are encountering even added challenges at work.

Thereafter, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Resolved as follows, to:

Congratulate State governments since the creation of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum for their contribution to the delisting of Nigeria from the global polio map as Nigeria on June 18, 2020 attained the status of being Wild Polio-Virus-Free. The Forum commended the commitment of all stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Health, the Dangote Foundation and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for their strong domestic and global financing support which was instrumental to strengthening the country’s capacity for surveillance and routine immunization. The achievement is a great milestone for the public health history of the country.

Engage with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to take on the new SFTAS Additional Financing as grants to States following the momentum on fiscal accountability and sustainability generated by the current SFTAS programme and the need for sustained funding for State governments in the wake of the fiscal pressure that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recommend that the Federal Ministry of Health and its agencies engage with the National Assembly Health Committee and State Commissioners of Health to harmonize a workable strategy that will facilitate the speedy release of the BHCPF to fund primary health care activities at the subnational level.

Review the concerns of the Resident doctors and interface with the Federal and State Ministries of health to address the concerns of resident doctors in the country, by settling backlog of salaries where such exist, reintegrating residency training in State Hospitals where they have been suspended, providing protective equipment and ensuring sustainable pathways to uphold the welfare of doctors in an effective and efficient manner.

Governor Kayode Fayemi

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

24th June 2020

Governors Intervene In Doctors’ Strike, Promise To Resolve Grievances

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

 

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has intervened in the ongoing nationwide strike by members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

Following a meeting between the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, and the leadership of the association.

The spokesperson for the NGF Secretariat, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday.

He noted that it was the first time the doctors would seek the governors’ intervention, adding that the NGF governor urged them to call off the strike.

READ ALSO: Resident Doctors Embark On Indefinite Strike

According to Bello-Barkindo, the NARD representatives promised to meet with other executive members of the association and await the action of the NGF on the issues raised.

He added that at the end of the meeting, NARD President reached out to the secretariat that the doctors have agreed to “call off the strike” to allow the governors to address their complaints.

The doctors embarked on the industrial action on Monday but exempted their colleagues working in various coronavirus (COVID-19) isolation and treatment centres across the country, to join them after two weeks.

Among other demands, they asked the government to provide protective equipment for all healthcare workers and immediately reverse the disengagement of all 26 resident doctors at the University Teaching Hospital in Jos, the Plateau State capital.

Read the full statement by Bello-Barkindo below:

It was the very first time that NARD would be putting their grievances before the Forum.

After listening to them, the NGF Chairman reminded the NARD executives of their Hippocratic oath and admonished them to always bring their conscience to the fore “because when you strike, it is not the men in power that suffer but the common man on the streets.”

Dr Fayemi commended them for remaining in the country to serve in spite of the abundant opportunities and lucrative offers that await them abroad.

However, Dr Fayemi also reminded them that government has always invested huge sums of money to train them and it would amount to a disservice to their fatherland to flee the country without giving their services in return.

Dr Fayemi appealed to the NARD to call off the strike promising that the NGF would sit in a week’s time and consider their grievances along with all the other members of the Forum, with a view to finding a lasting solution to those of their problems that are immediately possible for the Forum to tackle.

The doctors, led by their president, Dr Aliyu Sokomba, and their National Secretary Dr Bilkisu, left the NGF Secretariat with a promise to consult the membership of their association to prevail on them to put their faith in the NGF and await the action of the governors on the matter.

It is on that basis that the President reached out to the DG of the NGF this evening as they close the NARD meeting to announce that they are calling off the strike to allow the governors to address their complaints.

Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo

Head, Media, and Public Affairs

Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat

Rape: NGF Asks All Governors To Domesticate Child Rights Act, Others

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

 

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has called on its members to domesticate the Child Rights Act, updated Penal Code, and Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act.

It explained that this was important to tackle the alarming rate of rape and other forms of sexual violence in various parts of the country.

This formed part of the resolutions reached at the 10th COVID-19 teleconference of members of the Forum which held on Wednesday.

According to a communique issued at the end of the meeting, the governors resolved to declare a state of emergency on sexual and gender-based violence.

They condemned violence against women and children and warned that offenders would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

The Forum stressed that the domestication of relevant gender-based protection laws would increase protection for women and children.

It added that such a step would ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of perpetrators, in addition to creating a sex offenders’ register to name and shame the culprits.

The meeting also deliberated on the public hearing on the proposed Control of Infectious Disease Bill, 2020 at the House of Representatives.

In their resolutions, the governors maintained that states should be conferred with the powers to declare any place within their territory an infected area.

They also sought to make regulations and directives towards prevention and further spread of an infectious disease within the state, in addition to having the powers to establish Centres for Disease Control.

The governors, therefore, called for a review of the discretionary powers of the President and the Director-General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), as contained in the proposed bill.

They condemned some portions of the bill which they said violated the human rights of the people and highlighted the potential contraventions with the nation’s Constitution.

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

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, Wednesday, June 10, 2020, deliberated on a number of issues affecting the country especially the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The NGF Chairman provided an update on:

The Forum’s meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN.

The team of governors discussed the implications of the contentious Executive Order #10, which among others mandates the allocation of appropriated funds to the State Legislature and State Judiciary in the State appropriation laws in the annual budget of the State as a First Line Charge upon the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the State.

The delegation of Governors, led by himself, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, and his Kebbi State counterpart, Abubakar Bagudu, represented the Forum;

The public hearing on the proposed Control of Infectious Disease Bill, 2020 at the House of Representatives (Committee on Healthcare Services) which he attended with the Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, on behalf of the Governors.

The Forum also received updates and presentations from:

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 to provide a coordinated strategy for the Federal and State governments to relax the COVID-19 lockdown;

The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Nigeria Police Trust Fund (NPTF), Suleiman Abba (IGP, Rtd) on the Police Trust Fund (PTF) which is a special intervention fund established by the Police Trust Fund Act to provide funds for, inter alia, the training and welfare of personnel of the Nigeria Police Force;

The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen who addressed members on the rising case of rape and gender-based violence in the country which has escalated threefold since the enforcement of the COVID-19 lockdown;

The World Bank Team lead by the Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri, who gave an update to members on the US$750m additional financing under the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Program for Results.

Thereafter, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum resolved as follows to:

Congratulate Mr. President for the decision to postpone the formal publication of Executive Order #10 of 2020 in the Official Gazette to enable further consultations among all stakeholders;

Through the NGF Committee led by the Vice Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto State, continue meeting with the delegation of the Conference of Speakers and other stakeholders to work out modalities for resolving all concerns regarding Executive Order #10 amicably;

Reiterate the position of members that the proposed Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, 2020 takes into account the crucial role of State Governments within Nigeria’s federal system in responding to pandemics in the country.

Specifically, State Governors should be conferred with the powers, among others to, declare any place within their State an infected area; make regulations and directives towards prevention and further spread of an infectious disease within the State; establish States’ Centres for Disease Control; the discretionary powers of Mr. President and the Director-General as contained in the proposed Bill should be reviewed; Finally, while cautioning on certain human rights violations in the proposed Bill, Governors also highlighted potential contraventions with the Nigerian Constitution;

Endorse the work of Governor Okowa’s Committee to consolidate measures to gradually open the formal and informal sectors of the economy, especially agricultural activities in rural areas, manufacturing (including the distribution of goods across States), markets, construction, hotels, and restaurants (takeaways only), and worship centres based on existing COVID-19 protocols;

Agree with the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) to prioritise government’s response in hotspots across the country that account for the largest share of COVID-19 cases.

Governors are encouraging citizens who have COVID-19 symptoms to go for testing to ensure that they receive timely care and that their families are protected from being infected. States are already working with the PTF to ensure that there are operational testing laboratories in each State;

Call on each State government to develop a strategy for opening its economy based on the guidelines agreed to by the PTF and the NGF. So far, success has been recorded in improving the supply and availability of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), with five companies certified by the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to locally produce PPE;

Pass a vote of confidence on the newly appointed Chairman of the Police Trust Fund to steer a responsive and responsible Police Force and called on him to ensure that the composition of the PTF Board is representative of the country’s diversity;

Advise the Chairman of the Police Trust Fund to seek legal advice on the funding sources of the organisation as the current arrangement in its Act which amongst others, sources its funding from 0.5% of the total revenue accruing to the Federation Account violates the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution;

Declare a State of Emergency on Sexual and Gender-based Violence. Governors strongly condemned all forms of violence against women and children and committed to ensuring that offenders face the maximum weight of the law;

Call on State Governors that have not already domesticated relevant gender-based protection laws to domesticate the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act, the Child Rights Act, and the updated Penal Code to increase protection for women and children and ensure speedy investigation and prosecution of perpetrators in addition to creating a ‘sex offenders register’ in each State to name and shame;

Invite the Commissioners of Police to provide a detailed report on the actions taken to strengthen their response to sexual and gender-based violence through the Family Support Units and Force Gender Units at the State and Local Government levels. Governors will commit additional funding for the prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence through appropriate Ministries, Departments, and Agencies;

Endorse the Communique of the meeting of the First Ladies in Nigeria which held on 7th June 2020 to evaluate and mobilise action to check the alarming rate of sexual violence against women and girls and indeed all forms of violence against women;

Commend the World Bank on the provision of US$750m additional financing for the State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability Programme for Results (SFTAS). State Governors pledged to ensure that their Ministries of Finance, Budget and Planning are positioned to access available funding to strengthen the COVID-19 response of State governments;

Endorse the recommendations of the NEC Ad-Hoc committee on COVID-19 which highlights key public health and macroeconomic actions for the Federal and State governments – many of which States are already implementing.

Governor Kayode Fayemi

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

10th June 2020

Governors To Meet Over Rape, NCDC Bill, Other Issues

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

 

Members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) will meet on Wednesday over the alarming rate of rape and other forms of sexual violence, among other critical issues in the country.

The Head of Media and Public Affairs at the NGF secretariat, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.

He noted that the meeting would be the 10th teleconference of the governors since the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria.

According to the statement, the governors will receive memoranda from various groups, including a statement from the Nigeria Governors’ Spouses Forum headed by the wife of the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Mrs Bisi Fayemi.

Bello-Barkindo said the governors’ wives would brief the Forum on violence against women and children that have become a matter of national emergency.

He revealed that the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, has been invited to interface with the governors on critical gender issues, as well as the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to brief them on the Police Trust Fund.

The NGF secretariat spokesperson explained that the meeting would also review the COVID-19 situation in the various states and advance more pragmatic ways of dealing with the pandemic, going forward.

Other issues to be discussed at the meeting include an update on Executive Order 10, a brief from a subcommittee that was assigned to engage the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 headed by Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, among others.

Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, is also expected to present the report of his committee set up in March at the last NEC meeting to review the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy for endorsement.

The statement said, “The state governors will also take a peek into such issues as the World Bank Cares programme, the public hearing on the NCDC Bill 2020, the progress made on the refunds to states on FAAC deductions, the restructuring of states’ loans by the CBN Governor Mr Godwin Emefiele, and the reimbursements for construction of Federal Roads to states like Rivers, Bayelsa, Ondo, Osun, Cross River etc.

“Also on the agenda is a briefing on the CACOVID Distribution of palliatives and also feedback from States. The NGF is expected to get an update to see whether or not the palliatives have made any impact on the citizenry.”

Infectious Diseases Bill Should Be Stepped Down – NGF

A file photo of members of the NGF at a meeting in Abuja in January 2020.

 

 

More criticisms have continued to trail the controversial Control of Infectious Diseases Bill introduced in the House of Representatives.

This time, the governors of the 36 states of the Federation have demanded that the bill be stepped down until all necessary procedures were followed.

The call to step down the bill formed part of the resolutions of the governors after the eighth teleconference meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) which held on Wednesday.

In a statement by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, the governors noted that a bill of such nature needed proper consultation to gather the pulse of the public before its introduction into the chambers of the National Assembly.

READ ALSO: Recovered COVID-19 Patients In Nigeria Surpass 1,000

They, therefore, set up a committee comprising the Governors of Katsina, Sokoto, and Plateau States – Aminu Masari, Aminu Tambuwal, and Simon Lalong, to lead a meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly on the proposed bill.

The governors also directed the NGF Secretariat to comprehensively review the bill and its implication on states.

They also raised serious concern about the effects that the regular deductions from revenues accruable to states would have on their capacity to effectively respond to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The NGF, therefore, resolved to review the 2020 budget and amend procurement guidelines to support e-procurement, as a way to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on states’ resources.

Read the full text of the statement issued at the end of the NGF teleconference meeting below:

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today deliberated on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and resolved as follows:

The NGF Chairman briefed State Governors on existing coordination activities with the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19, multilateral and bilateral partners, and the private sector through the Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID).

In addition to ongoing activities aimed at strengthening the public health response and the delivery of palliatives to vulnerable persons, the Forum is coordinating an additional response with the support of the Dangote Foundation to set up a volunteer workforce of health personnel who will be trained and deployed to strengthen the availability of health workers in States in critical need.

The Forum is concerned with the rising number of coronavirus cases in the country which reached 4,787 as of 12th May 2020 based on an update from the Presidential Taskforce (PTF) on COVID-19.

The worrying trend urgently calls for additional measures by State Governors to ramp up capacity for testing, increase the availability of isolation beds to at least 300 per State, accelerate the procurement of additional personal protective equipment (PPE) and training for health workers, as well as the continued enforcement of interstate restriction of movement.

In line with the commitment made by the Forum to intensify public-private collaboration for the delivery of palliatives from the private sector, Governors are making warehouses available for the delivery of palliatives and have appointed State Coordinators who will be responsible for the receipt and distribution of palliatives to vulnerable persons.

Following an update from the Governor of Sokoto State and Vice Chairman of the NGF, H.E Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on the proposed Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, 2020 introduced by the House of Representatives, Governors raised concern with the lack of consultation with State governments who are at the forefront of the epidemic.

The Forum resolved that the Bill should be stepped down until an appropriate consultative process is held, including a public hearing to gather public opinion and concerns.

In light of this, the Forum established a Committee comprising the Governors of Katsina, Sokoto, and Plateau to lead a consultative meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly on the proposed Control of Infectious Diseases Bill, 2020.

The NGF Secretariat was also mandated to comprehensively review the Bill and its implication on States.

The Forum received a briefing from the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, on the Oil and Gas Industry Intervention Initiative on COVID-19, set up by oil and gas operators to provide medical consumables to States, deploy logistics and in-patient support systems, and deliver permanent medical infrastructure across the six geopolitical zones.

Governors commended NNPC for leading the industry to take the initiative and advised the group to prioritise interventions that will boost the country’s testing capacity and the capacity of health workers who are at the frontline of the epidemic.

Following an update from the Governor of Edo State, H.E Godwin Obaseki on the operation of the World Bank States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) project which is supporting a strong pro-poor fiscal response to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Governors agreed to take additional measures to strengthen their public financial management systems, including a revision of their 2020 budgets and the amendment of State procurement guidelines to support e-procurement and the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises.

To fast-track the deployment of e-procurement across States, the Forum will be adopting a Software as a Service (SaaS) model with the Kaduna State government providing the framework agreement that other States can leverage on.

Following an update on the rising trend of deductions from revenues accruable to the Federation Account available for distribution to the three tiers of government, the Governors noted the threat this poses on the fiscal capacity of States to respond to the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic. Members also raised concerns about the ownership and distribution of proceeds from recovered looted funds and accounts or investments funded as the first-line charge from the Federation Account.

The Forum agreed to engage with the Federal Government to ensure that the governance arrangement of all federation-funded investments recognise State governments as shareholders in the distribution of proceeds and decision making.

The Forum has followed with interest, the development of the 12-month Economic Sustainability Plan by the Federal Government, which is designed to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

In the spirit of developing a truly coordinated national response to the crisis, Governors expressed the importance of greater consultation and collaboration between the federal and state governments on development planning.

A Committee was consequently set up to interface with the Federal Government on the next Medium-term National Development Plan.

The Committee is made up of the Governors of Bauchi, Plateau, Kebbi, Akwa Ibom, Abia, and Ekiti.

A Second Committee comprising the Governors of Gombe, Nasarawa, Delta, Ebonyi, Oyo, and Kaduna was established to steer the activities of the NGF-NESG Economic Roundtable (NNER) – a sub-national platform of the NGF and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group created to promote sub-national competitiveness through public-private collaboration.

Finally, the Forum congratulated the newly appointed Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

The Forum wishes him well and looks forward to a fruitful partnership that will support the development of the country.

Governor Kayode Fayemi

Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

13th May 2020

Nigerian Governors Agree On Two-Week Inter-State Lockdown

 

The 36 state governors in Nigeria have recommended a two-week national inter-state lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

This decision was taken during a meeting of the governors on Wednesday, a day after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control confirmed 117 new coronavirus cases in the country with total infections rising to 782.

Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, said the inter-state lockdown would help halt the continued rise in the number of cases as well as the spread of the pandemic.

According to him, the governors also resolved to set up COVID-19 committees at the regional level to be headed by health commissioners.

The news comes a day after Governor Fayemi said the governors were very concerned about the spread of the disease and warned that the country was in for a long ride in the battle against the pandemic.

READ ALSO: There Is Nothing To Suggest That COVID-19 Will Not Spread To The 36 States – Fayemi

Fayemi had on Tuesday spoken about the efforts of state governors in curbing the spread of COVID-19, during a skype interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today.

“We are very concerned. If you look at the number of times we met over the last one month. We’ve had five meetings which focused almost exclusively on COVID-19 and its spread and the concomitant economic effects on the Nigerian citizens,” Governor Fayemi had said when asked about the situation.

He, however, said the governors were trying to use all their capacity to fight the pandemic.

To complement the actions of the government, he called on Nigerians to play their part and follow directives and protocols.

“I don’t think we have reached the peak yet. So, Nigerians need to take this very seriously. This is not entertainment,” he warned.

COVID-19: NGF Asks FG To Cancel All Deductions, Restructure Debts

 

Members of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have urged the Federal Government to cancel all funds deductions from states.

The governors also asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to restructure all commercial debt service payments from states.

NGF Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi said this at the governor’s COVID-19 teleconference meeting held on Sunday.

According to the statement, released after the meeting, the NGF also commended the presidential task force for leading a national response team for COVID-19 but emphasised the need for a stronger collaboration with the states.

They insisted that such collaboration should include the administration of palliatives to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

See below, full statement as released by the NGF.

READ ALSO: Funke Akindele, Husband Plead Guilty To Social Distancing Violation

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today deliberated on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and resolved as follows:

1. The NGF Chairman briefed State Governors on ongoing coordination with the World Bank to mobilise support for States to mitigate the economic and social cost of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ongoing plans include accelerated disbursement of existing and new financing for States under the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Results, and mitigation and recovery support for expenditures to protect livelihoods, support local economic activity and recovery over the next 18 months to 2 years.

2. The Forum expressed appreciation to the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) set up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for their pledge to support States increase their capacity to mitigate the spread of the virus and care for confirmed cases through the construction of isolation centres and the distribution of personal protective equipment to States. Members underscored the need for CACOVID to work directly with the States in the distribution of palliatives.

3. Following a briefing from Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) on the activities of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 which he chairs, the Forum commended the SGF and his team for the commitment in leading a national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Members also emphasized the necessity for stronger collaboration with States because they are best positioned to administer palliatives to mitigate the impact of the crisis, including the distribution of food and essential materials to households to help them cope with the expected loss of income and livelihoods.

5. The Forum received presentation from Mazen Mroue, Chief Operating Officer and Olubayo Adekanmbi, Chief Transformation Officer, MTN Nigeria on ongoing collaboration with the NGF Secretariat to profile States vulnerability to the spread of the coronavirus based on parameters such as population age and density, travel history, location, income level, etc. Governors approved the vulnerability model and resolved to use the model to drive a data-driven approach to stopping the spread of the virus in the country.

6. The Forum also expressed full support for the federal government’s timely implementation of the petrol price modulation mechanism to eliminate petrol subsidy permanently in the country.

7. Governors unanimously supported the unification of exchange rates into a single, market-determined window and the use of the market-determined exchange rate to calculate all revenues due to the Federation.

8. Finally, Governors reiterated the importance of canceling all deductions and deferring or restructuring all commercial debt service payments on federal government and CBN-owned debts.

COVID-19: NGF Inaugurates Committee To Curb Outbreak

NGF Chairman Kayode Fayemi

 

The Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) has inaugurated a seven-man committee to address and curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.

The committee which is to be led by the governor of Kaduna State, Nasiru El-Rufai is to advise states on the best preventive measures and actions to be taken on the outbreak.

Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, while addressing journalists in Abuja on Wednesday explained that the decision to set up the committee became necessary after the governors received a brief on the current status of COVID -19 in the country.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: FG Confirms Five New Cases In Nigeria

He added that governors also agreed to set up functional test and isolation centers across the states to compliment what the Federal Government is doing.

The Federal Ministry of Health had on Wednesday confirmed five new cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria.

This brings the total number of confirmed cases to eight.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire confirmed the cases during a press briefing in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

He explained that out of the five new cases, three arrived from the United States while two came from the United Kingdom.

“We are still collating information on the travellers; two out of the three from the US are Nigerian, a mother and a 6-week old baby which makes it the youngest COVID-19 patient we have.

“The third is an American national, who crossed the land border to become the first COVID-19 case not arriving by air. The two cases from the UK are Nigerians”.