The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has resolved to retain till next year the tax relief measures put in place in states for individuals and businesses to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The resolution is part of the outcome of the 16th teleconference meeting of the governors held on Wednesday.According to a statement issued at the end of the meeting and signed by the NGF Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, “all state governments, through their internal revenue services, will ensure seamless implementation of the tax relief programmes for businesses and other taxpayers.
“These programmes which were released in some states since March 2020 were designed to reduce the financial burden of taxpayers in the country up till 2021 in some cases.”
The forum also resolved to work, through its sub-committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, towards addressing concerns raised by the states on the reception of new inmates amidst measures being taken to curtail the spread of COVID-19 at the correctional facilities in the country.
“The NGF resolved to provide leadership to the COVID-19 response in their respective states by ramping up risk communication activities and community testing.”
The forum asked state governments to nominate focal persons that would interface with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources on the actualization of the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).
The governors were urged to maintain vigilance to ensure that the structures put in place for routine polio immunization are not jeopardised by the COVID-19 pandemic in the light of the Rotary International’s recognition of the forum’s role in ending the polio infection in the country.
The NGF commended the World Bank for the new initiative to support the states in updating their property records.According to the forum, some states are already in advanced stages of developing a geographic information system that will help them gather, manage and analyse geospatial data both for the purpose of spatial planning and property taxation.
The NGF Legal Committee led by the Vice Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, updated members on the consultations with the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), to resolve concerns on the implementation of the Executive Order Number 10.
The committee said that a technical panel, comprising members from all parties, had been working on an acceptable framework for the implementation of the order.
The Chairman of the NGF sub-committee interfacing with the PTF on COVID-19 and Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, updated the forum on the importance of continued and increased testing in all states as the economy opens.
“Low testing rates at any time will make it difficult to track the correct status of the pandemic in the country thus making it difficult to make important decisions like opening of schools, NYSC camps and holding elections,” Okowa said.
According to the statement, the NGF chairman provided update on the disbursement of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) facility to eligible states by the Ministry of Health to safeguard government interventions in primary health care service delivery during the pandemic.
By Matthew Ogune,