Nigeria: Coronavirus - Governors Agree to Hold Weekly Virtual Meetings

The 36 state governors under the platform of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) have agreed to hold their weekly meetings via tele-conferencing to check the spread of COVID19 in the country.

The NGF Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, said this in a communique made available to PREMIUM TIMES on Monday.

Since the first outbreak of the coronavirus in the city of Wuhan Hubei province, China, late last year, other countries affected by the pandemic have adopted technological means of conducting meetings without undermining safety.

For instance, British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, who is self-isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, has been communicating with Britons in series of videos posted on his tweeter handle, appealing to people to work from home and comply with the social distancing measures.

NGF

In the communique, Mr Fayemi said the NGF members agreed to hold weekly tele-conference to receive regular updates from all states and maintain a coordinated response to the pandemic.

He added that the forum also agreed to ensure "seamless movement of essential commodities throughout the country during the period of the lockdown in the three affected states, Lagos Abuja and Ogun."

President Buhari on Sunday had ordered total lockdown in two states and Abuja.

According to him, the forum through the NGF secretariat, would design a protocol for the movement of essential services that would be 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," Mr Fayemi said.

He also said the governors deliberated on various state-level coordination with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, and others in the private sector such as the food, beverages and pharmaceuticals associations, as well as donor groups led by Messrs Aliko Dangote and the MTN Foundation.

He added that the governors also received an update from the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire; and the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, (NCDC), Chikwe Ihekweazu, to increase the capacity of states to improve testing and treatment for COVID-19 cases.

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