By Emmanuel Oloniruha
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has set up a seven-member sub-committee to review trend of the Coronavirus and global fall in petroleum price.
The sub-committee will also states governments on required measures to address the challenges on the economy.
The chairman of the Forum, and Governor of Ekiti, Kayode Fayemi disclosed this while reading the communiqué issued after the forum meeting held on Wednesday night in Abuja.
Fayemi said that the committee to be chaired by Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, is expected to submit its report as soon as possible.
Fayemi also expressed the governors’ pledge to work with the Ministry of Health to set up functional test and isolation centres in each state in Nigeria.
“The Forum received an update on the COVID-l9 pandemic from the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire.
“Governors pledged to work with the Ministry of Health to set up functional test and isolation centres in every state in the country.
“After an extensive discussion of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and falling oil prices in the Nigerian economy and the revenues of states governments, the forum constituted a sub-committee consisting of the Governors of Kaduna (Chair), Kebbi, Ebonyi, Ogun, Nasarawa, Edo and Jigawa states.
“The committee is to comprehensively review the trend and advice State governments on the set of actions required to address challenges in our economy,” Fayemi said.
Fielding question on the call by the Senate that President Muhammadu Buhari to address the nation on Corona Virus, the Ekiti state governor said what the nation needed was regular information and not necessarily from the president.
“Everyday, I noticed that we received address. There is a COVID -19 taskforce that have been put together by the Federal Government and that taskforce addresses the nation almost on daily basis.
“We have seen the minister of health, secretary to the government of the federation briefing the nation.
“What the nation needs is information, regularly delivered in order to keep the citizens informed about steps to take. Really, it should not matter who is given this conference on daily basis,” Fayemi said.
On other resolutions of the meetings, the NGF chairman said that the forum commiserated with the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on the unfortunate Sunday fire incident in Abule-Ado in the state, in which over 20 lives were lost.
Fayemi said that a delegation of the forum would visit Lagos on Saturday to support the governor of Lagos state.
“The Forum received a presentation on fostering values-based leadership from the Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa led by its Chairperson, Mrs Amina Oyagbola. Members resolved to engage with the Institute through its Secretariat.
“The Forum received a presentation from Laoye Jaiyeola, Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group on the NGF-NESG Economic Roundtable (NNER).
“NNER is a joint platform created by both institutions to facilitate public private dialogues and develop joint programmes geared towards building competitive advantages of States across clusters, geographic corridors and economic belts.
“Governors adopted a strategy to operationalise the NGF-NESG Economic
Roundtable and committed to constitute a Steering Committee to provide governance to the partnership.
“Finally, the Forum received a presentation and invitation from the Global Citizen led by its vice Chairperson, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede to co-host the Global Goal Life Festival in Lagos.
“The Forum pledged to work With the non governmental organisation to provide a unique opportunity for Nigeria to showcase and expand her SDG efforts at the global stage.”
He added that the forum welcomed Hope Uzodinma Gov. of Imo, to his first NGF meeting since his resumption as Governor.
Ehanire in an interview with newsmen after his presentation, said he was at the forum meeting to brief governors on how Corona virus spread abroad and how it came into Nigeria and what the Federal Government had done so far.
The minister expressed his joy about the response and wiliness of the governors to tackles the virus in their respective states.
“They asked questions about our strategies, our approach and how it affects their states and how they can have access to materials to be able to respond.
“I did not need to make an effort to remind the governors on what they should do because they all offered to play a role which was very good.
“In fact, they want to know the cost of building an isolation centres, the cost of the equipment and the kits. They want us to present them with them cost tomorrow. We are happy that there is such engagement by the governors,” Ehanire said.
The minister said that Nigeria now had eight confirmed cases and government was trying to manage the information.
Others present at the meeting include NGF Deputy Chairman, Gov. Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State; governors of Kaduna, Edo, Imo, Taraba, Kano,Ogun, Osun, Adamawa, Niger and Nasarawa