Nigerian Governors Forum Meeting Fails To Hold

 

A meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum which was scheduled to hold today in Abuja has stalled because of the inability of the members to form a quorum.

Some of the governors had arrived at the NGF secretariat located in the Maitama area of the nation’s capital this evening for the meeting but had to leave shortly after.

Those present included the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, as well as his Jigawa, Adamawa, Niger and Bauchi States counterparts.

Others present were the Deputy Governors of Enugu and Kaduna States who were there to represent their principals.

Governors Query NNPC Spending, Suspend ‘Cash-Call’ Payment

Governors Query NNPC Spending, Suspend 'Cash-Call' Payment
State governors at the NGF meeting in Abuja on May 16, 2018.

 

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) has queried the spending of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and asked it to clarify its expenses.

Chairman of the Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdul’Aziz Yari, stated this on behalf of his colleagues after they met in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Addressing reporters on Wednesday night, Governor Yari said the forum was concerned about the implementation of the ‘cash-call agreement’ of the corporation.

The term describes a counterpart funding contract between the Federal Government and the multi-national oil companies, allowing the NNPC to invest about 60 per cent of its equity.

The NGF Chairman, however, disclosed that the governors resolved to suspend the payment of cash-call, and payment of all arrears until the NNPC clarifies its spending.

According to him, the decision was taken because the corporation could not ascertain the actual figure of debt paid so far.

“I wonder – when the total capital budget of the nation is one point something trillion naira – how could NNPCC alone say ‘we are spending N2.7trillion on the capital programme of development of oil’, what are they developing?” he questioned.

Governor Yari noted that the forum frowned at the supposed withdrawal funds from the monthly remittance to the Federation Account.

He added that the forum further agreed that NNPC must specify its various remittances to the Federation Account for proper accountability going forward.

“We told NNPC that they must remit the royalty and taxes when due; and when they are remitting this money, they should specifically spell out what each and every money is meant for – you cannot just take from this month ransom a N100 billion and you didn’t tell us what the money is meant for.

“So, we agreed on that and that’s how they are going to continue from this month,” the Zamfara State governor affirmed.

Nigerian Governors Hold Emergency Meeting, Defend Insurgency Fund

Nigerian Governors' Forum
File Photo

An emergency meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum was on Tuesday, held at the State House in Abuja.

The NGF Chairman, Governor Kashim Shettima of Borno state, said the meeting was focused on amending certain sections of the Nigerian Constitution.

Furthermore, he addressed the issue about whether the states have a sole right to approve the withdrawal of funds or not.

Defending the move, he explained that there had been a similar instance sometime in 2014, whereby the state governors approved the withdrawal of a huge sum of money from the excess crude account to fight Insurgency during the Jonathan administration.

Shettima, therefore, stressed that such approvals are not new and warned that no one should play politics with the withdrawal of the fund.

This comes less than a week after the governors approved the withdrawal of the sum of $1 billion which the Federal Government says it will spend on fighting insurgency.

The move sparked criticism from some members of the opposition who described the move as alarming.

It also sparked a debate about the actual intention the government has for the money especially as it had claimed to have “technically defeated the Boko Haram Insurgents”.

Beyond criticising the plan, the PDP said it has rubbished the integrity of the current administration and demanded that it gives an apology to Nigerians “for lying to them about the actual state of the fight against insurgency in Nigeria”.

The party also called on the National Assembly to interrogate the proposed disbursement and subject it to a thorough but rapid interrogation.

In defence, however, the APC has said that no amount is too much to spend on bringing a final end to the war against insurgency in the country and therefore, described the debate as totally unnecessary. Read Here

Nigerian Governors Seek Solution To Economic Crisis

Nigerian GovernorsNigerian state governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have met to find a lasting solution to the economic crisis that they have been battling with in their states.

The meeting held at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa on Wednesday evening.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and Governor Of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz  Yari, said that the governors would not stop discussions until their states wriggle out of the economic crisis facing them.

“We need to come together and discuss this issue because it is giving the states headache and by extension the federal government.

“We were elected on the platform of different parties to perform, not (just) to be paying salaries and now (we are) not even able to pay salaries. So the issue is very serious and we are coming back to discuss it.

“If we get the opportunity we will see our leader, Mr President and see how we can move forward,” he said.

Those present at the meeting were the governors of Katsina, Borno, Kwara, Delta, Ogun, and Kaduna states.

Others are the governors of Nasarawa, Kano, Imo, Edo and Akwa Ibom states.

The Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, was also present at the meeting, He, however, left the meeting to hold discussions with the President on the attacks by Fulani herdsmen in his state.

The governors who were not present had their deputies representing them.

 

Nigerian Governors Forum Meeting Holds In Abuja

Governors Forum Nigeria AbujaNigerian Governors Forum meeting is holding at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

At the meeting so far are the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and Governor of Zamfara State, Abubakar Yeri, governors of Katsina, Borno, Kwara, Delta, Ogun, Kaduna, Enugu, Nasarawa, Kano, Imo, Edo and Akwa Ibom States

The governors who are not present have their deputies representing them.

The agenda of the meeting has not been disclosed to reporters but reports indicate that it is not far from efforts to stabilise the economy of the states.

Poverty, Injustice, Unemployment Responsible For Conflicts – Buhari

BuhariNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, believes that poverty, injustice and lack of job opportunities are largely responsible for the various conflicts in the nation.

The President made this revelation during an interaction with a delegation from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, an organisation active in the promotion of peace in Nigeria.

President Buhari said that the conflicts and youth restiveness being witnessed in different parts of Nigeria are only symptoms of deeper socio-economic challenges facing Nigeria.

The President maintained that to achieve enduring peace in the country, greater effort must be made to eradicate poverty and injustice.

Speaking on the constant conflicts between farmers and herdsmen in parts of the nation, President Buhari said, “A plan to map out grazing areas will soon be presented to the Nigerian Governors Forum as a temporary solution to the frequent conflicts until cattle owners are persuaded to adopt other means of rearing their cattle.”

He commended the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue for the relative peace that had returned to Plateau State, as well as their ongoing efforts to bring about peace in Southern Kaduna.

Blair Holds Talks With Nigerian Governors’ Forum

tony blairA Former Prime Minister of Britain, Mr Tony Blair, is meeting with the Nigerian Governors’ Forum to discuss areas of collaboration.

The meeting, which is being held at the Presidential Villa Abuja, is hosting the Tony Blair Foundation in the first of series of meeting with development partners geared towards good governance.

Mr Blair told the Governors that the dwindling oil prices and the attendant cash crunch called for change in the way things were done.

According to him, the Blair Foundation can collaborate with government at the state to bring about change in the country.

Before the meeting with the governors, Mr Blair held talks with the Chairman of the Forum, Governor Abdul’Aziz Yari of Zamfara State, where they discussed how the foundation could help state governments in the areas of health, education and Agriculture.

Nigerian Governors Hold Meeting On Developmental Issues

adams oshiomole at governors forumGovernors from the 36 states of the federation under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum have met on how to find lasting solutions to some developmental issues that are calling for attention in their domain.

The meeting, which was held at the old banquet hall in the Presidential Villa on Tuesday, was said to have been initiated by President Muhammadu Buhari to keep the governors abreast of the goings on in the government departments and agencies, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, said that the briefings were designed to encourage synergy.

“The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Andrew Yakubu, has given us a very interesting presentation of the reforms that are going on in the NNPC.

” We all have renewed confidence that we would have a national corporation that is run like a business outfit with good corporate governance and transparency that people can see through its operations.

“Having listened to all the presentations, we are very excited that the President is providing the right leadership and the GMD is at home with the issues and he’s dealing with all the impurities and the result is already manifesting,” Oshiomhole said .

Giving his view about the outcome of the meeting, Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, said, “I think for the first time in the history of me being a Governor, this is a very commendable effort. We discovered that many states can now partner with NNPC in the area of dam stream, business activities, distribution activities and refining activities.”

The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, added, “We’ve learnt a lot of things today and I think everybody will go back to his state, more informed and more aware of what is presently happening and how we can move forward.”

Nigerian Governors Forum To Meet Buhari Over Dire Economic Situation

Nigerian-Governors-ForumjpgThe Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) says plans are underway for its members to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari in order to fashion out ways of resolving the economic situation of Nigeria.

Addressing journalists after a meeting, the Governor of Zamfara State and Chairman of the Forum, Mr Abdulaziz Yari, said the current economic situation of the country has become one that requires urgent attention from both the federal and state governments.

“We discussed that extensively and we are trying to see that we find a lasting solution. We are seeing the President to sit down with him. As we are in a bad situation, the federal government is also in the same problem because some of the agencies have not paid salaries for six months.

“So it’s not only states that are owing. It’s the problem of the entire nation, not only states. We are going to work in synergy and keep our fingers crossed. We will meet with the President so that we can get a lasting solution to this problem,” he added.

The Forum also promised to offer a hand of fellowship to the president and members of the 8th National Assembly for the nation’s socio economic development.

Reports that most states governments are owing salaries and other back log of debts are some of the issues that were discussed during the meeting.

“Instead of asking for bailout, let us look for how the federal government can settle that backlog for us so that we can move forward. Nearly all the states are being owed by the by the federal government.

“Some of the states are being owed about N10 billion, some N20 billion with a state like Lagos being owed more than N50 billion. So, if we can get that done, then most of the issues can be resolved in earnest,” Governor Yari said.

Security issues were not left out as the Forum also came up with a resolution on how the Federal Government can assist states suffering from the Boko Haram terror attacks.

The issues surrounding the sharing of revenues accruing to the Federation Account also formed part of the discussion at the meeting that was held behind closed doors at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

It is the first time the Governors are meeting after about three years following the emergence of two factional chairmen after an election that resulted in disagreement.

At least 23 governors were present at the meeting.

In a communique released by the governors after the meeting and signed by Yari, the governors ratified Yari’s election as chairman of the Forum for a term of one year, renewable after expiration.

Some Governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had on Monday requested for a bailout from the Federal Government, saying ‘dwindling revenue’ has affected the payment of workers salaries.

The NLC had said that about 18 state governors are owing over 8 months salaries.

Healthcare, Unemployment Issues Top Talks At Nigeria Governors Forum

Chibuike Amaechi-Governors-Forum

Poor healthcare delivery and increasing unemployment issues topped talks at the Nigeria Governors Forum held to seek solutions to the issues.

At the forum held in Port Harcourt on Friday, experts and governors highlighted several aspects of the Nigerian economy that needed to be overhauled for the sectors to yield more benefits to Nigerians.

The Health sector was top on the list of issues that were discussed, with a former governor of Kwara State, Bukola Saraki, giving an overview of the current state of the health sector at the sub-national level.

Saraki stressed the need for all Nigerians to have access to the health insurance scheme, insisting that such introduction would address the formal and informal sector.

“The National Health Law recently passed by the National Assembly has made this possible. One of the reasons healthcare is not accessible is because of the non-affordability of healthcare,” Saraki, who is also a Senator, said.

He further stressed that it was important that the governors addressed the issue of funding the health sector.

The forum also addressed the issues of youth unemployment in Nigeria.

On unemployment issues and job creation, the governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, stressed the need for proper planning and a diligent implementation of every plan and policies of the government for the needed jobs to be created.

“If we are to have a policy that says ‘Nigerians, consume what you produce,’ we must ensure that we consume only what we produce.

“The promise of the pension scheme was that there will be funds for long term borrowing because the contributors of the funds will not need the money until they are 60. It is expected that the money would provide resources for dual purpose of securing the future income and provision of a mortgage system where interest rate will be in single digit.

“Today total sum of the contribution is in excess of four trillion Naira. But even with such income, a worker in Nigeria cannot walk to his bank and borrow for mortgage purpose.

“We still have deficit in housing and we have huge pension fund. If we choose to inject the pension funds into the housing sector alone, we will create decent jobs because we will employ people to build houses,” he stressed, questioning why the policy is not being implemented as planned.

The Edo State governor stressed the need for planning, insisting that poor planning had led to the increase in the number of the unemployed and unemployable graduates in Nigeria.

He stressed the need for a short and long term plan to ensure that institutions were made ready to employ the graduates coming out of the tertiary institutions, emphasising that with more idle hands available, insurgents would find people to enlist.

The governors also looked at ‘Life After Office’ for governors and the governors were advised to adopt models of change of line of work, in order to remain productive even after leaving office.

Reading the communique at the end of the forum, the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum and the Governor of Rivers State, Governor Chibuike Amaechi, said that governors would focus more strongly on good governance and service delivery during the remaining period of their terms of office.

The governors also resolved to examine the establishment of an independent office to make objective recommendations on the retirement benefits of governors; leave behind legacy projects that the governors would be proud of and place emphasis on making the primary healthcare more accessible to people by putting in place a system which would make them utilise the health facilities closest to them.

Other resolutions reached are, the need to emphasise preventive healthcare other than curative healthcare and make it a priority to provide primary healthcare to all citizens and the need to provide and support all infrastructure necessary for speedy internet connections, including broadband so that Nigerian youths can participate massively in the wealth to be made from the knowledge based economy.

Gov. Amaechi Speaks About His Administration, Politics And Plan After Office

Gov AmaechiPoliticians by their very nature tend to evoke a lot of passion more than the rest of us and not many more so than Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State in recent times.

He is the 15th governor of Rivers State and the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, who was re-elected for a second term in 2011 on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP.

In December 2013, he joined the opposition party, All Progressives Congress, APC.

Governor Amaechi is our guest on this edition of ‘View From The Top’.

He speaks about his administration, legacy projects, the controversies around his style of leadership, the Rivers State crisis, the APC and his plans after completing his tenure as governor. He predicts a stormy 2015 in Nigerian politics.

Jang-Led NGF Condemn Killings In North, Support National Conference

Mimiko_ngfThe Jonah Jang – led Nigerian Governors’ Forum has condemned recent killings of innocent Nigerians in some parts of the north.

This was contained in a communique issued by the forum at the end of its meeting in Abuja last night.

In the communique read by the governor of Ondo State, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, the forum strongly condemned what it called senseless killing in Benue, Katsina, Kaduna and other Northern states and sympathised with the government and people of the affected states.

Mimiko noted that “the forum deliberated on the security situation in the country and strongly condemned the killings in Benue, Katsina, Kaduna and some of the North-East states and sympathise with the governors and people of these states.

The forum commended President Jonathan for convening the ongoing National Conference and urged all Nigerians to support it.

“The forum commend Mr. President for convening the National Conference and called on all Nigerians to give it the needed support and encouragement” Mimiko said.

While welcoming the new governor of Anambra state, Mr Willie Obiano to the forum, the body also felicitated with its chairman and Plateau state governor, Jonah Jang on his 70th birthday.

“The forum welcomes his excellency, Dr Willy Obiano, the newly elected governor of Anambra state to the forum. The forum also congratulate the Chairman of the forum and Governor of Plateau state, His Excellency, Dr. Jonah Jang on his 70th birthday, we wish him many more years ahead” he said

The meeting ended in the early hours of today (Thursday).