The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has pledged its commitment to ensuring seamless movement of essential commodities throughout the country during the period of lockdown declared in some states.
The forum made the pledge in a communiqué issued after its first teleconference meeting held on Sunday and signed by Gov. Kayode Fayomi of Ekiti who is the NGF Chairman.
The communiqué made available to Our Correspondent on Monday in Abuja said that the governors through the teleconference meeting deliberated on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.
The communique stated in part: “Governors are committed to ensuring that there is seamless movement of essential commodities throughout the country during this period of the lockdown.
“Through the NGF Secretariat, a protocol for the movement of essential services will be developed and shared with all state governments.
“To strengthen private sector-led support for the COVID-19 pandemic, the NGF Secretariat will serve as the coordination mechanism by tracking the COVID-19 essential needs of all states including equipment for contact tracing/sample collection, diagnosis and treatment.
“The NGF Secretariat has worked with the National Economic Council Ad Hoc Committee on COVID-19 to examine the impact of the pandemic on both the federal and state governments and has recommended a set of actions to manage the crisis.
“Members strongly emphasised the need for stronger collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Health, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and State Ministries of Health to strengthen preventive measures and the health response to the pandemic.”
The governors, according to the communique, also agreed to hold weekly teleconference meetings to receive regular updates from all states and maintain a coordinated response to the pandemic.
Fayemi, according to the communique, had briefed governors on various state-level coordination with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the private sector through the Food, Beverages and Pharmaceuticals Association led by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
The others private sector bodies included the MTN Foundation and the donor group led by Aliko Dangote and Herbert Wigwe.
The communique stated that the governors also received an update from the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, and the Director-General of the NCDC, Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, on the Federal Government’s efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19.
It added that the duo also updated the governors on plans to increase the capacity of states to improve testing and care for COVID-19 cases.