COVID-19 tops agenda as 36 Governors meet Wednesday



Alarmed by the intensity of the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, and Nigeria’s tardy commencement of inoculation that is sweeping through countries globally, the 36 governors of the federation may come up a definitive pronouncement, as they will be meeting Wednesday January 20 to find the way forward for the country.

This was disclosed in a statement Monday by Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, head, media and public affairs, Nigeria Governors’Forum.

Barkindo said the meeting which will be the first this year, 2021, by the governors, will as usual, be virtual, in conformity the Covid-19 protocols. It is the 23rd of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum teleconferences. The meeting commences at 2 prompt but Governors are expected to start logging from 1.

The Governors’ PTF Committee, headed by State , Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, which is charged 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.

Okowa is also expected to give a panoramic view of the second wave of the pandemic.

The Chairman of the Forum, and of Ekiti State, Dr John Kayode Fayemi will brief the Forum on his meeting with the President 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 governors issued by the Director General of the NGF Mr 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 (), 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.

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.