State governors across the 36 states of the federation on Thursday called on the Federal Government to immediately suspend all state deductions and restructure all debt service payments on Federal Government and CBN-owned debts, as part of urgent fiscal measures to safeguard the liquidity of sub-national governments in the wake of the two weeks lockdown.
The resolution was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the teleconference meeting held by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Wednesday and signed by its chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State.
According to the communiqué, the governors during deliberation on the COVID-19 in the country also received a briefing from the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning on fiscal measures taken by the Federal Government to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the engagement, the Forum also received briefing from the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq on stimulus incentives from the Federal Government to support vulnerable households across States cope with the expected loss of income and livelihoods in the coming months.
To this end, the governors unanimously pledged commitment towards leading the effort through State focal persons in charge of social protection to ensure that palliatives including food and cash transfers reach the most vulnerable population in all States.
“Members also discussed the legality or otherwise of lockdowns in other states around the country and resolved to maintain the status quo until the Chairman and governor of Ekiti State resolve the matter with the Presidential Committee on COVID-19.
“Finally, members also resolved to leverage on the lockdown situations to send essential food items across borders as part of the palliatives so that perishables produced in one state get to states that need them unhindered,” the communiqué read in part.
According to the communique, the Forum’s meeting is to be convened on Wednesday, 8th April 2020.
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