The Nigeria Governors Forum has outrightly dissociated itself from the statement made by Kogi State Governor regarding the COVID-19 vaccine .
The forum emphasized that it will continue to be informed and guided by science and will ensure that every decision it takes retains public and professional trust and is not compromised by conflicts of interest.
This was part of the resolutions contained in the communique issued at the wnd of the 24th teleconference meeting of the Nigeria’s governors forum and the first meeting in 2021.
The governors also deliberated on the country’s preparedness for the procurement and administration of COVID vaccines and the level of collaboration required from all stakeholders, including the federal, state governments and the private sector.
At the meeting, The Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, who is the Chairman of the Sub- Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 reported with concern the rising positivity rate amongst those tested for the virus.
He called on Governors to do more to reactivate their health systems, open-up treatment centres and increase partnerships with stakeholder groups in order to improve risk communication and the public’s adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.
The forum also set up a team of experts led by Professor Oyewale Tomori to advice State governors on the procurement and administration of coronavirus vaccines in the country.
Part of the resolution reached includes a commitment to increasing budgetary allocation to the water sector with the collaboration of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the World Bank through the US$640 million investment finance and US$60 million technical assistance component, which together will support and incentivize infrastructure investments and strengthen government policies and institutions in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector.
The Forum received a presentation from the Minister of Water Resources, Engineer Suleiman Hussein Adamu and the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, on the Sustainable Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (SUWASH) results-based financing programme for States. The programme has become necessary given the state of the sector which has contributed to 73% of Nigeria’s total burden of enteric infections and over 255,000 preventable deaths in the country each year.
State Governors committed to supporting the development of the Nigeria Agenda 2050 and the Medium-Term National Development Plan which will succeed Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 – 2020.