Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have expressed concern that low testing for COVID-19 in some states will hamper the reopening of schools, National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) camps and the holding of elections.
In a communique signed by NGF Chairman/Ekiti Stae Governor Kayode Fayemi, the Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, in his update, highlighted the importance of continued and increased testing in all States as the economy opens.
He called on States to take ownership of the COVID-19 response, especially with the expected winding of the PTF by the end of September. Low testing rates at any time will make it difficult to track the correct status of the pandemic in the country thus making it difficult to make important decisions like opening of schools, NYSC camps, holding elections.
The Forum through its Sub-Committee interfacing with the PTF on COVID-19 assured that it will address concerns raised by States on the reception of new inmates amidst measures taken to curtail the spread of COVID-19 across correctional facilities in the country.
The Forum resolved to provide leadership to the COVID 19 response in their respective States by ramping up risk communication activities and community testing for COVID-19.
The State Governments were called to nominate focal persons that will interface with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources on the actualization of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, had addressed the Forum in July 2020 on the NGEP which is designed as a catalyst for Nigeria’s vast natural gas reserves.
The plan will spur revitalisation across gas-based industries in fertilizer, methanol, textiles and feedstock for industries among others.