Onyekachi Eze, Abuja
Nigerian governors are to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari over the worsening security situation in the country.
The date for the meeting, which has not yet been fixed, will afford the state chief executives the opportunity to present their resolution to the president on strategies to tackle the problem.
The National Economic Council (NEC) ad-hoc committee on Security and Policing had met on Tuesday and presented its report at the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) meeting on Wednesday.
The NGF, which is an umbrella of 36 state governors, therefore resolved to send a delegation to meet with President Buhari on the report presented to it.
Last week, the governors deplored the attack on the convoy of Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum by suspected Boko Haram insurgents at Baga, and said the attack exposed the vulnerability of the nation’s security architecture.
NGF Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi, in a communiqué issued after the governors’ meeting on Wednesday, informed his colleagues that heads of nation’s security agencies attended Tuesday’s NEC ad hoc committee on security.
Though, the resolution reached at the meeting was not made public, a source privy to the report disclosed that the governors might push for overhaul of the nation’s entire security architecture, including sack of the Service Chiefs.
The NGF meeting also deliberated on its collaboration with the Centre for Values in Leadership (CVL), on the planned a webinar on Governance and Insecurity Challenges in the country.
“The webinar will facilitate an interaction between governors and the public to shed more light on some of the strategies deployed to tackle insecurity amidst the battle against COVID-19 in Nigeria,” the communiqué stated.
Fayemi, who is also governor of Ekiti State, disclosed that the governors discussed the ongoing negotiation with the Federal Government to grant waivers to state governments on payment of counterpart funds before they could access Universal Basic Education (UBE) funds.
“The forum had adopted the report of the National Economic Council ad-hoc
Committee on COVID-19 chaired by the Vice President, which recommended the
immediate suspension of the requirement for state governments to provide matching funds to access grants like UBEC.
“The move was taken in the light of the impact of COVID-19, which has affected the capacity of state governments to provide counterpart funds required to access various national funds and statutory levies,” he added.
Other decisions reached at the meeting, according to the governor, included the unresolved issue of trade dispute by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).
The governors equally received the report on school resumption, reopening of the economy and resumption of international flights, and called for increased testing and sample collection centers in all local government areas in the country.
The sub-committee, which is headed by Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, called for the disbursement of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund and other health related facilities, as well as the dissemination of guidelines for home care for COVID-19 cases.
It also decried the non-availability of reagents in the country due to its high demand globally.