Governors of the 36 states under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have endorsed the proposal of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for states to access N15trillion for national infrastructure funding through INFRACREDIT at a lower interest rate of five per cent.
Chairman of the Forum and Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, maintained that members also endorsed the proposal by the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), under the auspices of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), to access a total sum of N2trillion at nine per cent interest.
According to him, the resolution came after Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who is the Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) Adhoc Committee on Leveraging Portion of Accumulated Pension Funds for Investment in NSIA, briefed the Forum on the proposals.
Fayemi noted that both were not mutually exclusive and could be adopted simultaneously with one streaming into the other, adding that the NGF has agreed to meet with. President Muhammadu Buhari as soon as possible to address security challenges across the country, particularly in the light of the recent massacre in Borno State.
He said the Forum was intervening in resolving the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and has secured certain concessions from the Federal Government with the hope that the strike would be called off very soon.
The NGC chairman stated that members encouraged the Federal Government and ASUU to hasten the implementation of the truce elements in their resolutions, so as to allow schools to reopen immediately.
Other resolutions by the members, according to Fayemi, include: “Support the necessary reforms that will result in a Police Force that works for all.
“As an immediate to medium-term measure, members agreed to pay close attention to the conduct of Police officers across the country 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.
“Maintain its stance that stamp duties belong primarily to States and the various collection platforms are channels of payment to the States while aligning with the guidance provided by its lawyers and experts.
“Direct State attorneys general to review the Water Resources Bill and send their input to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum Secretariat as quickly as possible.
“Agree to keep active and operational, the State COVID -19 Task Force Teams and Emergency Operation Centers (EOCs), in addition to ensuring the prompt release of funds, as outlined in the State Incidence Action Plans (IAP), keeping temporary treatment centres open, ramping up COVID-19 testing across the country and support the planned ‘COVID-19 Testing Week’ to be launched by the PTF.
“Commit to achieving the second Eligibility Criteria (EC) requirement of publishing online, their approved FY21 Annual State Budget, prepared under the National Chart of Accounts, by January 31, next year.”
The governors also restated their commitment 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, as well as to inaugurate the NGF-NESG Economic Roundtable (NNER) Steering Committee, whose technical committee is to commence the implementation of the strategic plan, among others.
By Matthew Ogune,