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Governors ban open, underage and night grazing to tackle insecurity in Nigeria

Governors under the banner of Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have banned open, night and underage grazing in all parts of the country as a way to tackle the rising spate of insecurity.

The Governors, who met on Wednesday, said in a communiqué by the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr Kayode Fayemi, that the new measures should not be reason to start ethnic profiling of crime, noting that every Nigerian has the right to live in any part of the country.

The Governors called for introduction of modern systems of animal husbandry, and advised state governments to put in place systems to accelerate the grazing initiative of the National Livestock Transformation Plan and ranching in the country.

According to the communique, the NGF is to convene an emergency meeting of all governors to address the economic and security risks arising from criminal activities in the country.

It warned against the tagging of ethnic groups based on the misbehaviour of a few criminally minded individuals, and said state governors should address this matter head-on in their various States.

On the COVID-19 vaccine, the Ekiti State Governor called on all relevant agencies and public- spirited organisations involved in the procurement of vaccines to work amicably to ensure that the vaccines arrive the country quickly. 

He promised that the NGF will “inaugurate an advisory group of experts to provide high-level strategic guidance and support to the NGF on the procurement of COVID-19 vaccines in the short time and the local production of vaccines in the medium to long term.

“The forum is also engaging directly with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to ensure that vaccines are administered equitably, first to workers who are on the frontlines of the pandemic.”

The State Chief Executives were also told to address the misinformation from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources that it has so far registered 4.5 million farmers nationwide under the Agriculture for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP), which is a key component of the Nigeria Economic and Sustainability Plan (NESP) designed to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on farmers.

The meeting also deliberated on the under-utilisation of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Fund, the Basic Health Care Provision Fund (BHCPF) and the Saving One Million Lives programme for results (SOML) which are meant to expand the size and scope of resources spent on health and education across all states of the federation. 

“The forum recognises that the timely implementation of these facilities in line with the financing plans of states is vital to ensure expenditure coherence and the sustainability for several projects on primary health care and basic education implemented at the state-level, especially during this period of the COVID-19 pandemic where the demand for government intervention has been heightened,” the statement added.

The NGF Chairman told the meeting that the Federal Ministry of Health, state commissioners for Health and the World Bank have resolved to distribute the outstanding SOML fund under the Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLI 1,2) equally amongst all the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He expressed concern over the delay in the payment of funds to the three pilot BHCPF states of Abia, Niger and Osun, and urged the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Bank to urgently disburse the funds to these states using the original BHCPF guidelines for states.

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