Governors panic over COVID-19 second wave, convene meeting

 

The 36 comprising the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) on Monday expressed panic over the second wave of coronavirus infection in the country as the figures released by the Presidential Task Force continue to rise. The governors, therefore, schedule a on Monday of all NGF members for Wednesday to deliberate on the pandemic and the resumption of schools in the country.

The NGF in a statement by the Head, Media and Public Affairs, Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, on Monday decried that alarmed by the intensity of the second wave of the Covid19 pandemic, and Nigeria’s tardy commencement of inoculation that is sweeping through countries globally, the 36 governors of the federation may finally come up with a definitive pronouncement, as they will be meeting on Wednesday to find the way forward for the country.

It was further clarified that the meeting which will be the first this year, 2021, by the governors, will as usual, be virtual, in conformity with the Covid19 protocols. The Head of Media noted that the Wednesday meeting is the 23rd of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum teleconferences. The meeting, according to Bello-Barkindo, commences at 2.00pm prompt but Governors are expected to start logging on from 1.00pm.

It was further stated that the Governors’ PTF Committee, headed by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, which is charged with the responsibility of liaising between the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid19 and the Governors’ Forum, will brief the Forum on what it needs to know on the vaccines and the way forward.

Governor Okowa is also expected to give a panoramic view of the second wave of the pandemic, Bello-Barkindo added.

Bello-Barkindo added that the Chairman of the Forum, Governor John Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, will brief the Forum on his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari as well as update the Forum on all pending matters that have remained inconclusive, flowing from the previous year’s meetings.

“According to the invitation to the governors issued by the Director General of the NGF, Asishana B Okauru, these matters include ALGON and FAAC deductions, external debts reconciliation (2002-2018), Stamp Duty collections in respect of the governors’ letter to the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), and another response to the Ministry of Water Resources regarding the lingering Water Resources Bill, among others. All disbursements of funds to states on the three tranches of PAYE will also be tabled,” the statement read in part.

It added that Governors will also be updated on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability program for results (SFTAS) for the preceding year, 2020.

“As is customary, if time permits, there will be three presentations; The Water Resources minister will brief Governors on its World Bank Support; a feedback from the Federal Government on the Medium and Long Term National Development Agenda; and enhancing IGR through a harmonized Traffic Management System by Dimensions Information Technology, LLC, a non-governmental actor which is seeking the nod of state governors,” Bello-Barkindo declared.

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