Peeved by the massacre of more than 43 farmers in Borno State, a fall-out of the deteriorating security situation in the country, the 36 state governors are to engage President Muhammadu Buhari on the issue any time soon.
An indication to this effect was given on Friday by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Ekiti Gov. Kayode Fayemi, in a statement made available to Persecondnews.
Fayemi said the insurgency in the Northeast and the banditry in parts of the country have become worrisome.
We deliberated on issues affecting the country particularly the issue of national security and we have resolved to meet President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to address security challenges across the country particularly in the light of the carnage in Borno, he said.
On the eight-month long strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the governors urged the Federal Government and the striking lecturers to “hasten the implementation of the agreement as contained in their resolutions to facilitate immediate reopening of the universities across the nation.
On police reform, the governors expressed their resolve to support the necessary reforms that would make the police force to work for all citizens.
“As an immediate to medium-term measure, members agreed to pay close attention to the conduct of police officers across the country in order to get them and other internal security operatives fully back to work as they have not been functioning to full capacity since the EndSARS protests with the attendant security exposure to the safety of lives and properties of the ordinary citizens,’’ the statement said.
The governors also approved two proposals on infrastructure development presented by Kaduna Governor Nasir el Rufai’s Committee and the Central Bank Nigeria Governor Godwin Emefiele.
They resolved to publish their approved 2021 state budgets online as prepared under the National Chart of Accounts by 31st January 2021 as part of efforts to achieve the second Eligibility Criteria (EC) requirement.
“We are also committed to implement reforms associated with the programme including the deployment of a Geographic Information System (GIS) technology to support effective land administration and an efficient property tax system.’’
Other highlight of the forum’s meeting was the inauguration of the NGF-NESG Economic Roundtable (NNER) Steering Committee, whose technical committee is to commence the implementation of the strategic plan.
It includes but not limited to the national mapping of subnational endowments; global mapping of sub-national entities for global competitiveness and development of competitiveness tool kits.
The El-Rufai committee also briefed the meeting on the proposed National Infrastructure Investment Fund under the auspices of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) with about N2 trillion at nine per cent interest to be accessed.
However, the forum pointed out that the CBN Governor had a similar proposal to access N15 trillion for national infrastructure funding through infracredit at a lower interest rate of five per cent.
On Stamp duties, the governors insisted that stamp duties fall within the purview of the states primarily, adding that the various collection platforms are channels of payment to the states.
On the controversial Water Resources bill before the National Assembly, the NGF asked governors to direct their Attorney-General to review the bill and send their input to the Forum’s Secretariat.