Governors blame youth restiveness on inequality

By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

Governors on Thursday blamed youth restiveness on socio-economic inequality.

They will work with the Federal Government and other stakeholders to address the issues.

The governors resolved to “adapt, at both the state and regional levels, guidelines to be developed and issued by the National Economic Council (NEC) Sub-Committee on Engagement to reduce restiveness among young people”.

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at its 21st virtual meeting held on Wednesday, reviewed the fallout of the #EndSARS protests and the distribution of COVID-19 palliatives, among others.

“It is clear that these agitations are attributable to social and economic inequality in the country,” they said in a communique issued by the NGF secretariat.

The governors resolved to “engage with traditional, religious and civil society organisations to drive a common agenda and generate the required support for security personnel who play a vital role in ensuring the safety and the well-being of all Nigerians.”

According to the communique, the NGF members agreed to work with the guidelines to be developed NEC Sub-committee.

The forum’s Vice Chairman and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, provided an update on the work of the NEC Sub-Committee mandated to engage with youths, civil society, religious, political and traditional leaders to frame a new security architecture.

The NEC sub-committee was set up following the NEC’s emergency meeting held on October 26.

The NGF members commended the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) “for presenting the true situation of what transpired in the light of the unfortunate misperception that attended the distribution of palliatives at the state level.”

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They resolved that the NGF Chairman, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, should work with the CACOVID Chairperson to address the media in addition to members speaking up in their local settings.

The governors also agreed to educate the citizenry about the various palliatives provided by the states, including cash transfers, food items, medical supplies, and tax incentives.

They resolved to direct their Commissioners of Finance to sign the States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Subsidiary Grant Agreements with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning to give effect to the principles and objectives of the program in their states.

According to the communique, Fayemi provided members with an update on the #ENDSARS protests and emphasised that the security situation in the country remains a priority agenda for NGF’s members across the board.

Fayemi also briefed members on “the meeting on Friday 30th October 2020 with Mr President, together with the leadership of Horasis the Global Visions Community, conveying to members that the partnership with Horasis is envisaged to create a long-term strategic framework for Nigeria to be the African home for Horasis Annual Meetings in addition to establishing the Horasis-Nigeria Economic Development Council to assist the Government in the actualisation of its economic development goals.”

Chairman of the Northern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, briefed his colleagues on steps taken by the 19 Northern state governors to address the fallouts of the EndSARS protests.

The communique added that Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, who is the Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee, interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, “raised concerns about the current low testing numbers in the country especially, in the light of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases globally.”

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Governors were urged to increase their testing capacity in all local governments to help prevent the start of a second wave of the pandemic in the country flowing from imported cases from abroad.

Edo State, Godwin Obaseki, according to the communique, urged state governments to immediately direct the signing of the new SFTAS Subsidiary Grant Agreement to give effect to the principles and objectives of the new additions to the programme.



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