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Govs want injection of N2trn infrastructure fund into economy

Governors of the 36 states of the country have called on the Federal Government to inject the N2 trillion Nigeria Infrastructure Investment Fund to stimulate the nation’s economy.
The state chief executives, who met on Wednesday, also made case for the revitalisation of the Federal Mortgage Bank to support the government’s housing programme.
Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, in a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, expressed confidence that the $100 million World Bank Regional Disease Surveillance Systems Enhancement (REDISSE) programme would help to mitigate the pains of the coronavirus pandemic.
NGF signed the World Bank support fund with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) two weeks ago.
Fayemi noted that “the Fund comes at a critical time as the impact of COVID-19 prolongs and at the time state governments are preparing for the reopening of the economy.”
According to him, the fund “will support broader mitigation measures required to ensure seamless easing of the lockdown across states.”
The governors noted the new strategy adopted by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) to address the spread of the pandemic in the country.
Among this is the increased testing and promotion of non-pharmaceutical intervention in local government areas regarded as hot spots of the pandemic.
The governors accepted the measures proposed by the PTF in the affected local government areas, “including hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, mandatory masking in public and partial or total lockdown restricting movement.
“The PTF will reach out and work with the governors of the respective states to implement the strategy.”
Fayemi said the governors noted the rise in the community spread of coronavirus cases with mild or no symptom, and added that state governments were encouraged to ramp up testing to curb the spread of the virus.
According to him, the NGF adopted the report of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa sub-committee to gradually open the formal and informal sectors of the economy, as well as to engage Vice-President Yemi Osinbanjo, who is also Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC), to facilitate state governments’ representation in the implementation committee of the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan.
He promised that the governors would collaborate with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to ensure the utilisation of the five per cent user charge on the pump price of petrol and the international vehicle transit charge to fund road projects in Nigeria.
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timpre Sylva, and Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of FERMA, Engr. Nuruddeen Rafindadi, were among those who addressed the meeting.

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