Governors say economic inequality led to agitations
• Move to address protesters’ demands
Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has identified social and economic inequality in the country as cause of the recent agitations by youths. In a communiqué issued by the Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, after its 21st teleconference, the forum urged members to adopt at the state and regional levels guidelines to be developed by the National Executive Council (NEC) Sub-Committee on Engagement to reduce restiveness among young people.
The conference was convened to deliberate on issues affecting the country, particularly the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and fallout of the EndSARS protests.
Fayemi noted that the forum had agreed to engage with traditional and religious leaders as well as civil society organisations (CSOs) to drive a common agenda and generate the required support for security personnel who play a vital role in ensuring the safety of Nigerians.
He said: “Vice Chairman of the forum, Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, provided an update on the work of the NEC sub-committee mandated to engage with youths, CSOs, religious, political and traditional leaders to frame a new security and stability architecture for the country.
“This NEC sub-committee was set up following the emergency meeting of Monday, October 26, 2020.”According to the governor, Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, provided a brief on steps taken by governors of the 19 northern states to address the fallout of the protests.
He added that chairman of the NGF sub-committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, raised concerns over the declining number of cases in the country, against global resurgence.
Fayemi noted that governors were enjoined to increase their testing capacity in the grassroots to help prevent a second wave of the pandemic in the country.
His words: “Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, provided an update on the status of the World Bank’s State Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) programme.
“The assessment of states’ amended budgets published at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has been completed, while the verification exercise for the implementation of tax relief programmes in all states is underway.” He commended the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) for clearing the air over the distribution of palliatives at the state level.
“Governors are to direct their finance commissioners to sign the SFTAS Subsidiary Grant Agreements with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, to give effect to the principles and objectives of the programme in their states.”
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