The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Thursday resolved that each State will establish a Steering Committee to oversee the rollout of a World Bank-financed US$800 million facility designed to fund a large-scale conditional cash transfer (CCT) program in the country.
The resolution was contained in a communique signed by Governor Kayode Fayemi, Chairman, NGF, issued at the end of the 36th teleconference meeting of the Forum.
According to the NGF, the Steering Committee would be established and chaired by the Governor in each State, noting the decision to ensure that the program aligns with the vision of the State Governments.
“On the National Social Register and the Rapid Response Register as critical tools for rolling out cash transfer programs, members received a presentation from the National Coordinator of the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office, Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Mr. Iorwa Apera.
“Forum members also listened to the World Bank Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri on the rollout of a World Bank-financed US$800 million facility designed to fund a large-scale conditional cash transfer (CCT) program in the country.
“The Forum thereafter resolved that each State Governor will establish and Chair a Steering Committee to oversee the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) initiative to ensure that the program aligns with the vision of the State Government” noted the statement.
On the proposed privatization of the ten (10) generating plants located across the country under the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPPs), Fayemi also stated that members received a detailed presentation by the Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Mr. Alex A. Okoh, and resolved to review and communicate through their board
representatives, their assessment and position on the privatization of what they consider critical national assets. States currently own a total of 53% equity in NIPPs while the Federal Government owns a 47% stake.
“With respect to the required legal and institutional changes required to facilitate a successful CPS transition in all States, State Commissioners of Finance will be mandated to ensure that States meet the guidelines for the implementation of Contributory Pension Schemes by State Governments, including the enactment of pension law, the establishment of a pension board and the adoption of a transition framework for each State.
“On the Electric Power Sector Reform (EPSRA) Bill 2021 which has passed its second reading at the Senate, members listened to a presentation from the Chief Executive of New Hampshire Capital Limited, Mr. Odion Omonfoman, on the implications for State Governments; the Forum thereafter set up a Committee comprising the Governors of Edo and Lagos State to scrutinize the new Bill and advice the Forum on a position that will ensure that the Bill, when signed, will be a tool to strengthen the course of policy direction, design and implementation of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI), and address critical issues in the country’s power sector;
“Members received a presentation from Dr. Nicky Okoye, Founder, Nicky Okoye Foundation and representatives of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, on the African Enterprise Initiative: a roadmap to reposition Nigerian businesses for the global marketplace through a suite of strategies such as the accreditation and verification of SMEs across the country to form a database for incentives, and the establishment of community enterprise clinics, funding strategies, and boot camps. Following discussions, the Forum mandated the NGF Secretariat to review and prepare an engagement strategy between interested States and the Foundation.
“The NGF States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) Program Manager, Olanrewaju Ajogbasile provided an update on the SFTAS program, highlighting that all States met the eligibility criteria for the program by publishing their 2021 budgets and 2020 financial statements online and as at when due.
“Governors committed to ensuring that Disbursement Linked Results (DLRs) due by the end of December 2021 are achieved.
“These include the enactment and implementation of an audit law; the enactment, publication, and implementation of a Consolidated Revenue Code (CRC); enactment and implementation of public procurement law, as well as the use of e-procurement in at least four (4) MDAs (including Education, Health and Public Works); and the enactment of state-level debt legislation in the remaining States where these results have not been achieved;
“The Senior Health Advisor of the NGF Secretariat, Dr. Ahmad Abdulwahab provided an extensive update on health security in the country. Thereafter, members of the Forum committed to a series of actions, including the setting up State Polio Transition Committees headed by the Commissioners of Health to adapt and facilitate the
implementation of the transition plan for their respective States; prioritization of the control of Cholera, through water and sanitation interventions; as well as the intensification of the vaccination exercise (including the administration of boosters) in addition to existing nonpharmaceutical measures to manage the spread of COVID during the festive season;
“Members of the Forum resolved to each write a chapter (in their own words) in a flagship compendium that is being put together by the NGF Secretariat in collaboration with Dr. Joe Abah. The book seeks to draw on the personal experiences of governors in the spirit of the States Peer Review Mechanism. It will feature practical ideas, solutions, and approaches to solving difficult governance challenges in Nigeria for the benefit of incoming governors, academics, and members of the public.
“The Forum congratulated the Anambra State government on the successful conduct of its governorship election and the launch of the Umueri Cargo Airport project, both of which will contribute to peaceful governance transition and additional economic and social opportunities for the people of the State.
“Finally, the meeting was briefed by the NGF Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi, on several initiatives overseen by the Forum, including a partnership with the Africa Export-Import Bank to establish an African Sub-Sovereign Governments Network as a vehicle for promoting intra-African trade and investment; and the flagship programme of the Nigerian Governors’ Wives Forum (NGWF) which led to the declaration of a State of Emergency on sexual and gender-based violence (SVG) in Nigeria on 10th June 2020 by the Forum and the subsequent passage of the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act in 31 States from only 14 States as at June 2020”.
By Chidi Ugwu,