Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The fear of possible second wave of COVID-19 pandemic has gripped governors of the 36 states of the federation.
The governors on the platform of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), have therefore, raised concerns about the currently low testing numbers in the country especially in the light of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases globally.
The Governor of Delta State and Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF), Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who briefed the forum at their last meeting on Wednesday, enjoined governors to increase their testing capacity in all local governments to help prevent the start of a second wave of the pandemic in the country flowing from imported cases from abroad.
This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the meeting by the Governor of Ekiti State and Chairman, NGF, Kayode Fayemi.
The PTF on COVID-19 had on Tuesday, warned that COVID-19 infections may spike up across the country in the next two weeks.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha had said the country is at a risk of importing more cases of the disease following the reopening of its airspace and also as a result of the #EndSARS protests that rocked the country.
He had also cited the Edo and Ondo governorship elections as triggers too.
The SGF had also lamented the refusal of some Nigerians who, upon arrival from abroad, failed to present themselves for the polymerase chain reaction test they signed up for.
The NGF also commended the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) for presenting the true situation of what transpired in the light of the unfortunate misperception that attended the distribution of palliatives at the State level, resolving that the NGF Chair should work with the CACOVID Chairperson to address the media in addition to members speaking up in their local settings.
They also resolved to educate the citizenry about the various palliatives provided by the States including cash
transfers, food items, medical supplies, and tax incentives given to individual taxpayers and businesses.
Recall that the Acting Director of Corporate Communications of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Osita Nwanisobi, on behalf of CACOVID had explained why the distribution of palliatives to Nigerians to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic was delayed.
According to the coalition, the distribution of the relief items, which were for 2 million most vulnerable families in the 774 local government areas across the country, was delayed due to the magnitude of the number of food items to be distributed.
The coalition had added that the large scale of this nationwide food programme and the timing of the orders, which coincided with the lockdowns and limited movement across the country, delayed the procurement and distribution exercise.
Following the ENDSARS protests, the governors emphasized that the security situation in the country remains a priority agenda for Forum members across board.