As part of efforts to reduce the impact of the coronavirus on states’ finances, Governors have called for prompt measures to safeguard the liquidity of state governments.

They suggested the acceleration of an arrangement to suspend all state deductions and restructure all debt service payments on Federal Government and CBN-owned debts.

This formed part of the resolutions contained in a communique issued at the end of the second COVID-19 teleconference meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Wednesday.

In the communique, made available on Thursday by NGF’s spokesman, Abdulrazaque Bello Barkindo, the Governors also resolved to work with the Federal Government to ensure the success of the various palliative measures.

It reads: “We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today deliberated on the COVID-19 pandemic in the country and resolved as follows:

“Following a briefing from the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning on fiscal measures taken by the federal government to mitigate the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the forum called for urgent fiscal measures to safeguard the liquidity of State governments, including the acceleration of an arrangement to suspend all State deductions and restructure all debt service payments on federal government and CBN-owned debts.

“Members also received briefing from the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq on stimulus incentives from the federal government to support vulnerable households across States cope with the expected loss of income and livelihoods in the coming months.

“Governors committed to leading the effort through state focal persons in charge of social protection to ensure that palliatives including food and cash transfers reach the most vulnerable population in all States.

“Members also discussed the legality or otherwise of lockdowns in other states around the country and resolved to maintain the status quo until the Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State resolves the matter with the Presidential Committee on Covid-19.

“Finally, members also resolved to leverage on the lockdown situations to send essential food items across borders as part of the palliatives so that perishables produced in one state get to states that need them unhindered.

“Next meeting convenes on Wednesday next week.”

The communique was signed by the NGF Chairman and Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi.

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