The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti state Governor, Kayode Fayemi and his Sokoto counterpart, Aminu Tambuwal have visited Governor, Atiku Bagudu over the recent boat mishap that claimed over 100 lives in Kebbi State.
They visited the northwestern state on Monday night alongside Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong who also serves as the Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum.
The three governors commiserated with the people and government of Kebbi state over the unfortunate incident in Warrah town.
While emphasising on the need to ensure compliance to all safety rules regarding all forms of transportations in the country, Fayemi said the search and rescue capacity of the national emergency agencies needs to be upgraded to meet the daily occurrence of emergency in the country.
He also added that safety rules such as manifestos of passengers in all means of transportation should be adhered to.
“The search and rescue capacity of our emergency services really ought to be prepared for any eventuality of this type whether it is from the Air Force or capacity of the NEMA and our own state management agency should ensure that we are actually better prepared for this,” he said.
The NGF Chairman also announced a donation of N50 million to Kebbi State Government for the victims of the unfortunate development.
On his part, Governor Bagudu said 81 persons have been buried, adding that 22 persons were rescued alive in the boat said to have carried over 150 passengers.
President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented the Friday crash that led to the loss of the former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other military personnel, saying the incident has compounded the nation’s woes.
He stated this on Monday while receiving a delegation from the Nigeria Governors’ Forum at the State House who came to condole with him on the fatal air crash in Kaduna State, adding that only God knows why the tragic incident happened while expressing a resolve to work harder.
President Buhari told the delegation that he is hoping that God would provide the enablement for the nation to deal with challenges.
“To lose choice officers has increased our problem but we know what we are in for and we will continue to work hard and pray hard so that God will give us the power to appreciate and apply ourselves to the problem,” President Buhari said.
“This is a situation that only God knows when it will happen and it happened at a time when the security situation in the country is a fundamental issue.
“The people who elected us, they know the promises we made within the time…the circumstances which we find ourselves…we will keep on trying and continue to do our best.”
The delegation includes the Chairman of the NGF and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; the Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC) National Caretaker Committee and Yobe state governor, Mai Mala Buni, and Governor Sani Bello of Niger State.
On his part, the Ekiti State Governor commiserated with the President over the death of the military officers, affirming that the incident was one that was deeply felt by the Commander-in-Chief.
The NGF boss recalled that the President heeded the call by governors for a change of service chiefs and the impact was already being felt.
While noting that the death of the officers was a big blow to President Buhari, Governor Fayemi reiterated the President’s unrelenting resolve to fight the war against insecurity.
He also reminded the President of the pledge to take care of the families of the departed.
Fayemi said: “We’ve read your statement and this delegation of governors consider it a duty and as part of our obligation as your representatives to commiserate with you over the loss of your gallant officers.
“We know it is an event that has touched you. When we mentioned the necessity for a change of service chiefs, you were determined to get the best set of people, you gave your assurance and the military was beginning to feel the impact.
“We know that this is a major blow and you’re unrelenting in your quest/commitment to ensure peace and security in our country.
“It’s unfortunate the losses we have suffered. We only pray God gives both the families and the country the fortitude to bear the loss, pray that God gives our country greater resolve to continue on the path that the late COAS towed.
“For us, we must defeat banditry, insurgency and criminality. That’s the mandate you gave them. This should not lead to any retreat or surrender on our part.
“As you have promised, we know that our country will do everything to ensure that the administration will do all to take care of the families of the departed officers. It’s an indication of how protected the active officers would be.”
The nation was thrown into mourning on May 21 after a Nigerian Air Force jet crashed at the Kaduna International Airport due to bad weather.
Besides the army chief, other victims on board the ill-fated aircraft were Brigadier Generals Ahmed Kuliya, O Olayinka, and MI Abdulkadir; Majors N Hamza, LA Hayat; Sergeants O Adesina, and Umar; as well as Aircraftman OM Oyedepo, Flt Lt TO Asaniyi, and Flt Lt AA Olufade.
The Beechcraft 350 aircraft conveying the military officers, with registration number 5N-R203, was billed to land at the Nigerian Airforce Base in the Mando area of Kaduna but diverted to land at the civil airport.
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Wednesday said they are working to resolve issues surrounding the implementation of Executive Order 10.
This was disclosed in a communiqué signed by the Chairman of the forum Kayode Fayemi at the end of the 30th teleconference meeting.
President Muhammadu had earlier in May 2020 signed an Executive Order granting financial autonomy to both the judicial and legislative arms of government at the state level.
In its statement, the NGF said talks on the order had reached an advanced stage with the Ministry of Labour, conference of speakers, and the National Judicial Council.
“On Executive Order #10, talks have reached an advanced stage with the Ministry of Labour, Conference of Speakers, National Judicial Council, and the NGF. All parties are working earnestly to resolve the issues surrounding the implementation of the order.
“There are however legal aspects of the order that need to be tied up, but which cannot take place if officials responsible for these final processes are on strike. Governors are happy to implement the demands of the Judiciary and the Legislature,” the statement read in part.
The NGF, however, resolved to call for the immediate dissolution of the presidential implementation committee on autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.
See below the full communique issued by the governors at the end of their meeting…
ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 30th TELECONFERENCE MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM (7th IN 2021) HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 19th MAY 2021.
We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, deliberated on several matters of national concern and concluded as follows:
The NGF Chairman briefed the Forum on an ongoing consolidation exercise between the Forum and the Budget Office of the Federation to consolidate public finance data of the federal, states, and local governments into a national budget portal. He urged his colleagues to share details of their local government budgets and financial statements in addition to State government data already published.
On Executive Order #10, talks have reached an advanced stage with the Ministry of Labour, Conference of Speakers, National Judicial Council, and the NGF. All parties are working earnestly to resolve the issues surrounding the implementation of the order. There are however legal aspects of the order that need to be tied up, but which cannot take place if officials responsible for these final processes are on strike. Governors are happy to implement the demands of the Judiciary and the Legislature.
The NGF-NESG Economic Roundtable (NNER) Steering Committee was inaugurated on Wednesday 21st April 2021. The roundtable is a sub-national platform expression of the NGF and NESG, based on a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between both institutions at the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in October 2017. The goal of the partnership is to promote strategic cooperation between State governments and the private sector to drive investments, economic growth, productivity, and shared economic reform agenda across the 36 States of the federation. Membership of the Steering Committee include governors of the 6 geopolitical zones and 6 captains of industry.
The Governor of Delta State, H.E Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, who is the Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19 provided an update to the Forum on the activities of the PSC, and informed members of the expected commencement of the administration of the second dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the country, starting with those who received the first batch of the vaccine. The Governor noted that the PSC is currently working to get additional vaccine doses for the country, and he urged his colleagues to continue to maintain COVID public health guidelines to ensure that the transmission of the virus is kept at the lowest level possible presentations.
The Forum received a presentation from the Honourable Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Sabo Nanono, on the second phase of farmer enumeration for the Agric for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP) which is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP) approved by Mr. President and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on June 24, 2020. The programme is designed to help mitigate the impact of COVID 19 on smallholder farmers and the entire agricultural value chain. The 2nd phase enumeration is an extension of the 1st phase targeting the registration of up to 10 million farmers in the AFJP database. 2.4 million smallholder farmers were initially targeted for registration to be provided with input funding to boost food production, with about 30,000 N power (N Agro) graduates engaged and trained to carry out the farmer registration.
The Forum also received presentations from the World Bank led by the Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, in the company of Prof. Foluso Okunmadewa, Sector Leader of the Human Development Team, and Yue Man Lee, Task Team Leader for the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) – Program-for-Results (PforR) on the Nigeria Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus – Program for Results (Nigeria CARES) and SFTAS.
The World Bank team commended the commitment and actions of State Governors for establishing and resourcing CARES programme State Coordinating Units under their Ministries of Planning, and requested for their additional support in areas such as the adoption of a Fund Release Policy for improved predictability of resources flows to CARES Delivery MDAs; adoption and institutionalization of protocols for reporting, management and investigation of fraud and corruption in MDAs implementing CARES; and the release of 2021 State budgets to MDAs for the commencement of CARES-related activities. The Bank also urged the support of Governors to ensure that their Ministries of Finance and Ministries of Justice fast track the execution of subsidiary agreements for the CARES programme.
Updates on the SFTAS programme showed that targets for results and disbursements on the 2018 and 2019 Annual Performance Assessments (APA) and new COVID-19 2020 Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLIs) have been exceeded. For the SFTAS 2020 APA and new COVID-19 DLIs, all 36 States are on track to fully meet the Eligibility Criteria of having National Chart of Account (NCOA) compliant FY2021 budget published online by 31 January 2021. (33 States have been confirmed as fully compliant while the remaining 3 States are being reviewed).
Under the SFTAS Program for Results, 23 States have already passed strong state-level debt legislation which stipulates: 1) responsibilities for contracting state debt; 2) responsibilities for recording/reporting state debt; and 3) state fiscal and debt rules/limits. To help Nigeria successfully meet the World Bank Sustainable Debt Financing Policy (SDFP) by strengthening debt management, debt transparency, and fiscal responsibility at the state level, a strong collective commitment was made for the remaining 13 States to pass such state-level debt legislation by 31 December 2021.
The NGF SFTAS Programme Lead, Olanrewaju Ajogbasile provided key lessons that have accounted for the success of performing States in the implementation of the SFTAS programme, including the institutionalization of a steering committee chaired by a very senior government official; high-level monitoring and ownership with regular briefings to the State Governor or State Executive Council; dedicated budget under the Ministry of Finance to support SFTAS operations; an incentivized environment for State government officials working on SFTAS activities; and the provision of basic ICT infrastructure arrangements for focal MDAs to ensure that they are able to access remote technical assistance and meet reform actions in time.
HE Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai gave a briefing on the appropriate pricing of PMS in Nigeria, calling for full deregulation. He noted that between N70billion and N210billion is estimated to be spent every month to keep the PMS price at N162/litre, a situation that is completely unsustainable.
Finally, the Governor of Kaduna State, Nasir el-Rufai briefed his colleagues on the Labour situation in Kaduna State Resolutions
The NGF agreed on the need for States to meet their SFTAS obligations and resolved to put the necessary legal frameworks and institutions in place.
The NGF agreed on the need to continue to maintain COVID public health guidelines and vaccination protocols to ensure that the transmission of the virus is kept at the lowest level possible.
The NGF resolved to call for the immediate dissolution of the Presidential Implementation Committee on the Autonomy of State Legislature and Judiciary as this Committee is now acting as a permanent committee basically misguiding and overheating the relationship between State Governments and the other arms of government.
On the Labour crisis in Kaduna State, the NGF noted that it stands with the Governor of Kaduna State in his quest to improve the productivity of workers and their rights for a better quality of life.
NGF recognizes that what is happening in Kaduna State, will reverberate in each of the States and encourages the Governor of Kaduna and all other Governors to remain steadfast in the pursuit of human rights protection while ensuring that actions taken do not undermine the safety and security of lives. NGF appeals to both parties in Kaduna State to resolve the issues in the interest of the State as the protection of human rights for the collective good of all citizens and growth of our dear country, Nigeria, is what matters most.
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Monday called on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to exercise calm and restraint in its engagement with the Kaduna State Government.
NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi made the call via a statement, adding that no meaningful progress of any kind has ever been achieved in an atmosphere of conflict and chaos.
“The NGF also wishes to remind the NLC that its actions could become counter-productive especially as the last year 2020, had adversely affected workers socially and economically,” the statement partly read.
“Therefore the NGF advises the NLC to explore the already open avenue of rapprochement that the Kaduna State government has provided to resolve the matter and join the State to evolve a convivial working environment that is befitting for all.”
Fayemi called on the NLC to be open-minded towards “the altruistic intention of the staff audit that the Kaduna State is embarking upon to sanitise the state’s workforce and make it more productive.”
He added, “This should not be seen as a witch-hunt or an attempt to unnecessarily downsize the civil service.
“As we all know, all States are at present going through difficult times and the most feasible option will be for each State to device its own response to its unique challenges without undermining the rights of individuals to seek redress.”
The NGF’s reactions come shortly after the Kaduna State Government has declared NLC President, Ayuba Wabba wanted.
Governor Nasir Elrufai who announced this on his verified Twitter handle @elrufai on Tuesday morning, said the NLC president and other labour leaders were declared wanted for economic sabotage and attacks on public infrastructure in Kaduna State under the Miscellaneous Offences Act.
Wabba had earlier on Monday led workers in the state on a warning strike following the recent disengagement of over seven thousand civil servants at the state and local governments by the state government.
The protest resulted in a power outage, shut down of the airport, and fuel queues in various parts of the state as aviation workers shut down operations of Kaduna International Airport (KIA) in solidarity.
Other affiliate unions including the National Union of Petroleum Employees of Nigeria (NUPENG), National Union of Electricity Employees of Nigeria (NUEE), National Union Of Textile, Tailoring and Garment Workers of Nigeria also joined the protest.
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum will meet on Wednesday to further discuss the implementation of the contentious Order 10 which grants financial autonomy to the judiciary and legislature in various states.
In a statement on Monday, the NGF Head of Media and Publicity, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, noted that the meeting would also consider updates on states fiscal transparency and accountability report, as well as concerns about the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He stated that the meeting would cover lessons for states and actions for governors on sustainability, as well as the adoption of SaaS E-procurement.
The NGF PTF Committee led by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, charged with the responsibility of liaising between the committee and the forum, would brief the meeting on health matters arising from the third wave of COVID-19.
There would also be presentations from the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Sabo Nanono, on the second Phase of Farmers’ Enumeration, as well as the Director-General of Bureau for Public Enterprises, Alexander Okoh, on unlocking liquidity through sale/optimization of state-owned redundant/sub-optimal assets.
According to Bello-Barkindo, the Director-General of the NGF, Asishana Okauru, will give feedback on the series of Executive Order 10 meetings with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on the ongoing industrial action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria.
The chairman of the forum and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, had stated that governors were willing to implement the Order 10.
He had also given the assurance that the implementation process would commence in the states by the end of May.
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has condemned the attack on the country home of Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma.
In a statement on Sunday by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, the governors described the incident as taking criminality to reckless and irresponsible heights.
According to them, those responsible for the attack must be mindful that they do not have the monopoly of violence.
The governor stated that all hands must be on deck to apprehend the attackers whom they said constituted a small league of persons trying to harm the corporate existence of the nation.
Rather than engaging in criminal acts, the governors believe the mantra for every Nigerian at such a challenging time should be how to forge peace and unity across Nigeria’s divides and to shun violence and wanton destruction.
They sympathised with Governor Uzodinma and condoled with the victims of the incident which occurred on Saturday morning.
The governors also called on Nigerians to cooperate with the nation’s security agencies and the government to build a civil, safe, and secure environment for the people.
Channels Television had reported that the assailants, numbering about 15 driving in a motorcade of three vehicles accompanied by a tipper loaded with used tyres, stormed Governor Uzodinma’s residence in Omuma in an attempt to burn down the house.
They were, however, repelled by the security operatives attached to the governor’s house, but some vehicles parked on the premises were burnt.
Read the statement from the NGF below:
Razing of Governor Hope Uzodinma’s Country Home – Message from Colleagues
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum deeply sympathises with Governor Hope Uzodinma and commiserates with all those that have been injured, maimed, or killed.
The Forum calls on all good citizens to cooperate with the nation’s security forces and the government in trying to build a civil, safe, and secure environment for our citizens.
For those behind these crimes, they must understand that they do not have the monopoly of violence. This is taking criminality to reckless and irresponsible heights.
All hands must be on deck to fish out the perpetrators of this dastardly act as in our view, they constitute a small league of persons trying to harm the corporate existence of our beloved country, Nigeria.
The mantra for every Nigerian at such a challenging time in our history must be how to forge peace and unity across the nation’s divides and to shun violence and wanton destruction.
The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has said it will ensure the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislative and judiciary institutions by May 2021.
Chairman of the NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi gave the assurance after a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari at the Statehouse.
He maintained that the Governors forum has never been opposed to the issue of financial autonomy and that the governors, the speakers, and judges are on the same page.
He further disclosed that upon emerging from a meeting with the Solicitor-General of the Federation, the representatives of the judiciary, the representatives of the Conference of Speakers, and House of Representatives today, an agreement has been reached, thus reiterating that Nigerians can expect implementation of the agreement no later than May.
The NGF’s comments regarding the matter come few hours after members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) staged a peaceful march at the National Assembly in solidarity with judiciary workers who are protesting in favour of financial autonomy in the country.
The lawyers who had earlier converged at the Court of Appeal gate before proceeding to the Parliament’s complex in their numbers were stopped from entering the Assembly by security operatives.
Leadership of the NBA had earlier on Friday directed its branch chairmen nationwide to lead “visits” to government houses in their states over the 36 governors’ alleged unwillingness to implement judiciary’s financial autonomy.
A statement by the president of the association, Olumide Akpata, directed the branch chairmen to lead the “visits”, which are more like peaceful protests, on Monday, and on all other subsequent Mondays until the demand for the judiciary’s financial autonomy is met.
It urged the branch leaders “to effectively mobilise their members” for the “visit to the governors at the state government houses” to press home the demand.
JUSUN since April 6, 2021, left the courts in Nigeria under lock and key because of the non-implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary as the third arm of government. They commenced a nationwide strike today, April 19, 2021.
Members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) have called for a special review of the nation’s security challenges for an in-depth understanding of the enormity of the situation.
They made the call on Wednesday at a meeting presided by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, at the State House in Abuja.
Briefing reporters after the meeting which lasted till about midnight, Governor Fayemi explained that a special review of the security crisis was necessary to further engage the federal authorities at the political and security levels and find a solution to insecurity in the land.
He noted the rising concerns by the forum, following incidents of attack on correctional and police facilities in Imo State, the killing of soldiers in Benue, and successive acts of violence across the country, among others.
Nigeria witnessed increased insecurity recently as a result of the alarming rate of attacks by bandits and insurgents in the North, and attacks on security facilities in the South.
At least three police facilities, including the State Command Headquarters, came under attack in Imo in April, while no fewer than 1,800 inmates were released by gunmen at the Owerri Custodial Centre in the state capital.
Pockets of violence were also recorded in other southern states, including Oyo, Ogun, and Rivers, while dozens of villages were attacked by bandits in Kaduna, Zamfara, and Benue among others.
Apart from security, Governor Fayemi also briefed reporters on what his colleagues discussed about the nationwide strike by members of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) demanding financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.
He stated that the NGF committee responsible for engaging with representatives of the legislative and judiciary would convey the position of the governors on the Executive Order 10.
The governor, however, declined to state specifically what positions have been adopted by the forum.
President Muhammadu Buhari had signed the Executive Order 10, which deals with the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary.
Although the governors said they were not against the implementation of the law on financial autonomy, they insisted that they would not be stampeded by the executive order.
Following the refusal to implement the executive order, members of JUSUN commenced an industrial action on April 6.
The decision of the judiciary workers has paralysed activities in courts across the country, with various individuals and groups such as the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) urging the union to end the strike.
Members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) have supported the continued rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine across the country.
They insisted that the vaccine was safe for use, stressing that no side effects had been reported by those who have so far received the jabs in Nigeria.
Concerns about the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which had been suspended in some countries, formed part of the discussions at the meeting of the NGF held on Wednesday.
The meeting which was presided over by the NFG Chairman and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, received a brief on the status of the vaccine roll out from its COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group (CTAG) led by renowned virologist, Professor Oyewale Tomori.
In its briefing, CTAG recommended that Nigeria should continue to vaccinate all eligible persons with the AstraZeneca vaccine, in line with the latest recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The governors, in their response, reiterated their belief in the safety of the AstraZeneca vaccine and agreed to continuously encourage uptake of the vaccines by all eligible persons in their states.
They, however, called on the people to report any adverse events noticed after taking the vaccine jabs.
In his remarks, Governor Fayemi congratulated his colleagues for accepting to be vaccinated and declared that so far, the vaccines have not shown any signs of side effects as reported.
Away from the pandemic, he urged the governors to step up their support for the Forum of Governors’ Wives, who he said was driving the campaign against gender-based violence in the country.
The governors also deliberated on illicit drugs and related crimes and pledge their support for the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) by providing logistics support among others, to enable the agency to deliver on its mandate.
Read the communique issued at the end of the NGF meeting below:
We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, deliberated on issues affecting the country, particularly on the roll-out of the Covid19 vaccines and the attendant issues that have arisen since the rollout.
The chairman congratulated his colleagues for accepting to be vaccinated and declared that so far, the vaccines have not shown any signs of side-effects as is widely rumoured.
The Chairman also briefed his colleagues on the visit of the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of States’ Universities, the activities of the governors’ spouses around Gender-Based Violence and the VAP Act, calling on his colleagues to step up to the plate in support of the activities of the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum nationwide and the progress made with the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) project.
After the briefing by the Chairman:
The Forum received a presentation from the British Deputy High Commissioner (DHC) in Lagos, Nigeria, Ben Llewellyn-Jones, on the Accelerated C-19 Economic Support (ACES) programme which is aimed at supporting Nigeria’s response to the COVID-19 crisis.
The current focus of the ACES programme in Nigeria is trade facilitation through e-customs and digital jobs booster to activate the digital economy and accelerate the creation of local tech jobs in the country.
Following the presentation, the Forum committed to supporting a Federal Government-led cross-agency trade facilitation as a critical objective of the e-customs programme coordinated through the National Trade Facilitation Roadmap.
Nigeria will be able to achieve the objectives of the e-customs programme (i.e. enhanced user experience, and approximately 10% growth in customs revenue to hit the US$176 billion revenue target) with a broader cross-agency scope of reform, including fulfilling its Word Trade Organisation (WTO) trade facilitation agreement.
Members also committed to encouraging digital infrastructure expansion, accelerator programmes, and investment promotion to facilitate job creation in highly potential digital areas such as IT and business processing outsourcing, digital media, e-commerce, start-up innovation and smart manufacturing based on the comparative advantage of each State.
In the light of this, state governments are encouraged to set up one-stop shops to accelerate approvals and harmonise fees for priority broadband infrastructure across the country.
Furthermore, the NGF Secretariat will partner with the British High Commission, the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), as well as partners at the federal level on the workability of the ACES programme and the role of state governments to maximise its opportunities.
The Forum’s COVID-19 Technical Advisory Group (CTAG) led by Professor Oyewale Tomori briefed members on the status of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out across the States including the increasing concerns of the public on the safety of AstraZeneca vaccines. CTAG recommended that Nigeria should continue to vaccinate all eligible persons with the AstraZeneca vaccine in line with the latest WHO recommendations as available evidence, including findings from research in which some CTAG members are involved showing that the Astra Zeneca vaccine is safe.
Governors reiterated their belief in the safety of the Astra Zeneca vaccines and commit to continuously encourage uptake of the vaccines by all eligible persons in their States, Governors also encourage the public to report any adverse events noticed following COVID-19 vaccination.
Following a briefing from the Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Rtd. Gen. Muhammad Buba Marwa on Managing the Drug Crisis in the country, state governors committed to supporting the logistics and operational activities of NDLEA officials in their states, as well as programmes that will promote drug use prevention in the country.
Given the high correlation between drug use and insecurity in the country, the Forum will push for a greater role for NDLEA in Nigeria’s security fight especially as it relates to combating drug abuse and the illicit trafficking of drugs.
H.E Emmanuel A. Akabe Deputy Governor of Nasarawa State briefed the Forum on the inception activities of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC) which was set up to accelerate economic growth and lift at least 100 million people out of poverty by 2030.
The PEAC has recommended the development of a poverty and growth strategy for the country focusing among others, on macroeconomic stabilisation, redistribution, structural transformation, and industrialisation.
The strategy will be overseen by the National Economic Council (NEC) through a Steering Committee which should include at least one governor from the six (6) geopolitical zones in the country.
On the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) PforR, the NGF Help Desk and SFTAS Programme Manager, Mr Olanrewaju Ajogbasile, reported that the Independent Verification Agency has begun preparatory activities for the validation of the 2020 SFTAS Annual Performance Assessment (APA).
He also presented highlights of upcoming technical assistance activities coordinated by the NGF Secretariat for states, including support on preparing Budget Implementation Reports in line with the National Chart of Accounts (NCoA); preparing a State Audit Law for the Offices of the State and Local Government Auditor-Generals; preparing State and Local Governments’ Audited Financial Statements for FY 2020; developing a Domestic Arrears Clearance Framework and Guide on the Online Publicly-Accessible Domestic Expenditure Arrears Database and the reconciliation of State Governments’ Outstanding Debt Obligations (Foreign and Domestic Debt) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Debt Management Office (DMO) and State Ministries of Finance.
The latest SFTAS results show that 28 States – (Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Imo, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Niger, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba, Yobe and Zamfara State) achieved the disbursement linked indicator (DLI 12.1) to strengthen their procurement function for COVID-19 or emergency situations and facilitate the participation of SMEs in public procurement in the resilient recovery phase. These States will be eligible for SFTAS disbursements under the DLI.
Lastly, the Forum received a presentation on the 2018 audited accounts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from the Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reform (FOSTER) led by its team lead, Mr Henry Adigun.
The Forum welcomed the fiduciary risk assessment of the corporation. The additional information will support the work of state governments in engaging with the Federal Government to improve the governance arrangement of the oil industry.
Six Governors of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum have arrived Niger State to meet with Governor Abubakar Bello.
Chairman of the Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi is among those visiting the state.
Other members of the forum that have arrived are Governors Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq (Kwara), Abdullahi Sule (Nasarawa), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto).
The reason for the visit is still sketchy, but it is not unconnected with the security challenges in Niger State, particularly the abduction of 41 persons from Government Science Secondary School Kagara and the release on Sunday of 53 passengers abducted from the Niger State Transport Authority (NSTA) bus.
Governor Fayemi explained that their mission to Niger State was to commiserate with Governor Abubakar Bello over the abduction of the Kagara students and to commend him for the release of the 53 passengers.
Noting that the governors were not in the state to lament over the current national security, he said there is a need to come together as a people and leaders.
He also called for synergy among security agencies to find lasting solutions to the problem, stressing that if it requires dialogue and negotiations, it can be explored.
The NGF Chairman insisted there is no regionalization of the security issues or ethnic inclination, explaining that Nigeria can no longer play the ostrich and pretend about the issues.
He reassured his Niger counterpart that this difficult period will be over, saying all the governors in the country must put their heads together to solve the problem, which according to him cannot be fought in isolation.
According to him, the bandits terrorising the north are remnants of Boko Haram who have infiltrated into other parts of the country.
While attributing the security challenges in the country to factors such as poverty, illiteracy among others, Fayemi called for an adequate solution to the crisis in the North East.
On his part, Governor Bello lamented the break down in law and order in the country, stating that it portends a great threat to the future of the country as the future generation may be deprived of quality education due to insecurity
The governor also criticised the centralisation of security agencies at the federal level, which according to him needed to be addressed going forward.
He expressed hope that the lamentations of the residents of Niger and indeed other states will be attended to immediately.
The Niger leader noted that there are two phases of dialogue his administration is currently exploring.
First, he said, is to secure the release of the students of Government Science College Kagara abductees, while the second phase is to dialogue with the gunmen on their challenges and reasons for the attacks.
The Nigeria Governors Forum in reaction to rising insecurity in parts of the country says they are totally opposed to ethnic profiling of crimes.
Chairman of the Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi said this after the Wednesday night emergency meeting held at the State House in Abuja.
“Governors are totally opposed to ethnic profiling of crimes. Knowing what has transpired in other parts of the world, we do not believe that crimes are associated with particular ethnic groups, and to that extent, we unreservedly condemn any attempt to profile any ethnic group on account of a particular crime,” Fayemi said.
The governors also vowed to provide financial support to victims of the security crises in affected states, as they commit to greater protection of the lives of citizens.
They also underscored that they have unanimously rejected the traditional approach to grazing, hence the urgent need to crystallise the national livestock transformation plan to stem the recurring farmers/ herders clash.
The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has set up a team of experts to advise on the procurement and administration of the COVID-19 vaccines.
The decision was taken during the 24th teleconference meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum held on Wednesday.
The meeting was to deliberate the procurement and administration of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
During the meeting with the NGF, three medical experts briefed the governors on the country’s preparedness for the procurement and administration of COVID vaccines and the level of collaboration required from all stakeholders, including the federal, state governments and the private sector.
They include Professor Oyewale Tomori, leading Virologist and former Vice-Chancellor of Redeemer’s University, Nigeria; Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA); Dr. Pamela Ajayi Founder/Managing Director Synlab Nigeria (formerly PathCare), President Healthcare Federation of Nigeria and Dr. Egbe Dawodu, Founding Partner of the Anadach Group.
It was later agreed that a team of experts led by Professor Oyewale Tomori will advise State governors on the procurement and administration of coronavirus vaccines in the country.
“Following the presentations, the Forum set up a team of experts led by Professor Oyewale Tomori to advise State governors on the procurement and administration of coronavirus vaccines in the country”.
Read Full Statement Below:
ISSUED AT THE END OF THE 24th TELECONFERENCE MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM (1st IN 2021) HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 20TH JANUARY 2021.
We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, deliberated on matters of national importance, particularly on the procurement and administration of COVID-19 vaccines in the country.
1. The NGF Chairman, H.E. Dr. Kayode Fayemi, briefed State governors on a meeting with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Chair of the Board of Gavi, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, on the rollout of the COVAX facility which is a global risk-sharing mechanism co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to facilitate pooled procurement and the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across developing countries. Nigeria is among 12 countries in Africa that have indicated readiness of the 92 qualified countries for the facility and will by end of February 2021 receive its first shipment of vaccines.
2. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has indicated that vaccines will be administered in four (4) phases, based on vaccine type and availability, initially for frontline health workers, then the aged (55yrs and above), persons with underlying medical conditions and other target groups.
3. The Forum received briefings from three medical experts including Professor Oyewale Tomori, leading Virologist and former Vice-Chancellor of Redeemer’s University, Nigeria; Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA); Dr. Pamela Ajayi Founder/Managing Director Synlab Nigeria (formerly PathCare), President Healthcare Federation of Nigeria and Dr. Egbe Dawodu, Founding Partner of the Anadach Group on the country’s preparedness for the procurement and administration of COVID vaccines and the level of collaboration required from all stakeholders, including the federal, state governments and the private sector.
4. Following the presentations, the Forum set up a team of experts led by Professor Oyewale Tomori to advise State governors on the procurement and administration of coronavirus vaccines in the country.
5. On the ill-fated pronouncement made by a member of the Forum regarding the Covid-19 vaccine in a national daily, the Forum totally and categorically dissociated itself from the statement, emphasizing that the Forum will continue to be informed and guided by science and will ensure that every decision it takes retains public and professional trust and is not compromised by conflicts of interest.
6. The Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, who is the Chairman of the NGF Sub- Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 reported with concern the rising positivity rate amongst those tested for the virus. He called on Governors to do more to reactivate their health systems, open-up treatment centres and increase partnerships with stakeholder groups in order to improve risk communication and the public’s adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.
7. The Forum received a presentation from the Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Hussein Adamu and the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, on the Sustainable Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SUWASH) results-based financing programme for States. The programme has become necessary given the state of the sector which has contributed to 73% of Nigeria’s total burden of enteric infections and over 255,000 preventable deaths in the country each year.
8. State governors consequently committed to increasing budgetary allocation to the sector with the collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the World Bank through the US$640 million investment finance and US$60 million technical assistance component which together will support and incentivize infrastructure investments and strengthen government policies and institutions in the WASH sector.
9. A presentation was made by Dr. Sarah Alade, Special Adviser to the President on Finance and Economy, on the development of the Nigeria Agenda 2050 and the Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) which will succeed Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 – 2020. State Governors committed to supporting the development of the national plan by providing technical inputs that will ensure that the plan is inclusive, comprehensive, and reflective of the component development plans of each State in the country. State submissions will be made by 10th February 2021 and will underpin the use of credible data, social development, and economic diversification.
10. The Forum also received a presentation from Dimensions Information Technology LLC on a proposed harmonized Traffic Management System for States which is aimed at boosting their internal revenue generation. The plan was assigned to a Committee, peopled by the Governors of Lagos, Niger, Jigawa and Edo State for review and appropriate advice to the Forum.
11. Finally, the Governor of Edo State, H.E Godwin Obaseki updated State Governors on the Eligibility Criteria for the 2020 States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Annual Performance Assessment (APA) which requires in part that all State governments prepare their FY2021 budgets in line with the National Chart of Accounts (minimum of administrative, economic and function classifications) and that the budgets are approved by their State Houses of Assembly, assented by Governors, and published online by 31st January 2021.
The Governor stated that all States have already met the second part of the Eligibility Criteria by publishing an IPSAS-compliant 2019 Audited Financial Statement online by August last year. He encouraged States to take advantage of the Technical Assistance being provided by the NGF Secretariat on the domestication of the National Chart of Accounts.
Governor Kayode Fayemi Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum 20th January 2021.