From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Governors of the 36 states of the federation under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), will on Wednesday come up with a definitive pronouncement as regards the Novel Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
According to a statement by Head, Media and Public Affairs of the NGF, Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the governors, are 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 Chairman of the Forum, and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, had last week said governors will be given COVID-19 vaccine on live television to encourage Nigerians to accept the vaccine.
Fayemi had responded after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, when asked if governors will also take the vaccines on live television: “Absolutely. We too will like to demonstrate to our citizens that we believe that vaccines would work.
“Don’t forget, we have a lot of experience on this. Governors Forum managed the polio vaccines administration in the country and we have garnered a lot of experience.”
Wednesday’s meeting will be the first for year, 2021, by the governors, will hold virtually, in conformity with the COVID-19 protocols. It is the 23rd of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum teleconferences.
According to the statement, the Governors’ PTF Committee, headed by Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, which is charged with the responsibility of liaising between the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 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.
Fayemi will brief the Forum on his meeting with President 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 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 (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.
Governors will also be updated on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability program for results (SFTAS) for the preceding year, 2020.
The governors are also expected to be o entertain three presentations from the Water Resources minister, Suliaman Adamu, 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.