NIGERIA’S 36 state governors have endorsed a three-month plan aimed at gradually re-opening the country’s economy which they believe will lead to the return of normal economic activity in the post-coronavirus era.
Following the outbreak of the pandemic, Nigeria, like most other nations locked down her economy, with devastating socio-economic consequences. However, with the rate of infection slowing down, most countries are easing their restrictions and following suit, the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) set up a committee to come up with guidelines about how this will be done in the country.
Yesterday, the NGF held a virtual meeting where it resolved to among other things, interface with the Economic Sustainability Committee chaired by vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo and to incorporate the contributions of state governments in the federal government’s Economic Sustainability Plan as a national response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Also, the NGF mandated its Covid-19 committee to interface with the Presidential Task Force on the pandemic to come up with integrated solutions to the crisis. Members of the NGF sub-committee include the governors of Delta, Ekiti, Lagos, Anambra, Kano, Bauchi and Plateau states and the Federal Capital Territory minister.
NGF chairman and Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, said: “The Nigeria Governors’ Forum has resolved to interface with the ministry of finance, budget and national planning, on the $1bn Covid-19 crisis facility approved for the country at the request of the federal government by the African Development Bank (AfDB), to embark on the delivery of projects that will meet the needs of Nigerians during this period, in such areas as health emergency assistance, agriculture and food security.
“We will also continue engagements to consolidate interventions on the distribution of palliatives to vulnerable Nigerians who have lost their means of livelihood as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. We also endorsed the development of a three-month plan on reopening the economy by the National Economic Committee sub-committee that will interface with the presidential task force on Covid-19.”