Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) has pledged commitment of its members to ensure seamless movement of essential commodities across states during the period of lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The governors met on Sunday via teleconference, a development linked to the governors of Bauchi, Bala Mohammed and Kaduna, Nasir el-Rufai, having tested positive to the virus, and the need to keep the other governors safe.
In a communiqué issued after the meeting by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti Governor, Kayode Fayemi, the governors said a protocol for the movement of essential services would be developed and shared with all state governments through the NGF Secretariat.
They also agreed to hold weekly teleconferencing to receive regular updates from states and maintain a coordinated response to the pandemic.
“Governors are committed to ensuring that there is seamless movement of essential commodities throughout the country during this period of the lockdown. To strengthen private sector-led support for the COVID-19 pandemic, the NGF secretariat will serve as the coordination mechanism by tracking the COVID-19 essential needs of all states including equipment for contact tracing/sample collection, diagnosis and treatment.
“The NGF secretariat has worked with the National Economic Council Ad-Hoc Committee on COVID-19 to examine the impact of the pandemic on both the federal and state governments and has recommended a set of actions to manage the crisis.
“Members strongly emphasised the need for stronger collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and state Ministries of Health to strengthen preventive measures and the health response to the pandemic,” Fayemi said.