Abuja — Governors have agreed to set up and inaugurate as soon as possible the State Account Allocation Committee (SAAC) in their states to ease the release of funds to the judicial and legislative arms of government in line with the terms of agreements that ended the 10-week industrial strike by workers in the two sectors.
Also, at the meeting of the governors, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, unfolded plans by the federal government to bolster efforts in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic by building one oxygen plant in each state with an extra one in Lagos and Abuja, bringing the number to 38 oxygen plants.
In a communiqué after a meeting in Abuja, and signed by the Chairman, Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF), Dr. Kayode Fayemi, the governors said the NGF deliberated on issues of national importance, particularly the signed Memorandum of Action (MoA) by major stakeholders and witnessed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, to address the industrial action by members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN).
An insider at the meeting told THISDAY that the governors agreed to immediately set up the SAACs in their respective states to ease the release of funds to the judiciary and legislature in each state.
The communiqué said the governors received an update on the federal government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic from Mustapha, who is also the chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19.
The communiqué said: "To bolster the government's efforts, the SGF informed the forum that Mr. President has approved the set-up of 38 oxygen plants in the country, with at least one plant in each state and two each in Lagos and Abuja. A supplementary budget has also been submitted by the federal government to enable the country to access additional vaccines for its citizens."
The communiqué stated that the SGF called for continued action to maintain non-pharmaceutical interventions, including the enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines in public places and government institutions, heightened surveillance, risk communication, social mobilisation, testing and reporting of data, vaccination, as well as sustained clinical care for patients.
The communiqué added that the governors were briefed on activities of the forum, including the meeting of the Nigeria Governors' Wives Forum (NGWF), which took place on June 10, 2021 to commemorate the first anniversary of the declaration of a state of emergency against gender-based violence, acknowledging the commendable role of the NGWF and alluding to some of the appreciable milestones over the period.