Governors of the 36 states of the federation have stressed to need for state governments to manage the palliatives, especially those being coordinated by the key stakeholders in the private sector.
The governors argued yesterday that the states were best positioned to administer the palliatives to mitigate the effects of the current lockdown of the country to curb the spread of coronavirus.
The governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) disclosed this after their teleconference meeting on the COVID -19 pandemic.
The NGF chairman and Ekiti State governor, Kayode Fayemi, who briefed his colleagues on the ongoing coordination with the World Bank to mobilise support for the states to mitigate the economic and social cost of the COVID-19, added that there is accelerated disbursement of existing and new financing for states under the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Results, and mitigation and recovery support for expenditures to protect livelihoods, support local economic activities and recovery over the next 18 months to two years.
He said that the NGF expressed appreciation to the Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) set up by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for their pledge to support states’ increase their capacity to mitigate the spread of the virus and care for confirmed cases through the construction of isolation centres and the distribution of personal protective equipment to States.
According to him, members underscored the need for CACOVID to work directly with the states in the distribution of palliatives.
He said: “Following a briefing from Mr. Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) on the activities of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 which he chairs, the NGF commended the SGF and his team for the commitment in leading a national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Members also emphasised the necessity for stronger collaboration with states because they are best positioned to administer palliatives to mitigate the impact of the crisis, including the distribution of food and essential materials to households to help them cope with the expected loss of income and livelihoods.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has orders distribution of 150 trucks of seized rice to Nigerians
Abuja, April 6, 2020 (NAN) President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the distribution of 150 trucks of rice seized by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to the 36 states of the federation.
The minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists at a news conference in Abuja.
The news conference was on the fiscal stimulus measures in response to COVID-19 pandemic and oil prices fiscal shock.
Ahmed said that the seized trucks of rice had been handed over to the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management for onward distributions to Nigerians.
She added that in addition to this, the president had also approved distribution of grains from strategic grain reserves across the country.
The minister stated that as part of the effort to support the farmers, the president also approved reduction of the price of fertilizer from N5,500 to N5,000 per bag.
She added that this was another measure to give subsidy to farmers in view with the economic crisis caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
According to her, more measures will be taken to provide broader benefits to the citizens.
“We don’t want to rush and announce measures that will end up benefitting only a few of the segments. Our interest is to make sure that as much as possible a lot of Nigerians are productive and have liquidity in their hands.
“This will help to increase the consumption thereby assist to improve the economy.
“This is not something we will announce in a hurry without consulting with the central ministry and also without consulting with the key participants in the sector” she added.
The minister noted that the emerging health and economic risks resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic and decline in international oil prices posed existential threats to Nigeria’s economy, healthcare system, national security, as well as the lives of the citizens.
She emphasised that extraordinary measures would be required, as the situation evolved, to address the challenges.