In view of the devastating hit of Coronavirus disease on members of the Nigerian Governors Forum most of who have tested positive to the disease, the group has changed its strategy of meeting from physical meeting to technological handling.

The NGF Chairman, Dr Kayode Fayemi confirmed this in a communiqué released on Monday of using teleconferencing to hold its meetings as a way of ensuring social distancing because of the coronavirus pandemic without undermining its national responsibilities and contributions.

They had their 1st teleconference meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum held on Sunday, March, 29, 2020.’

He explained that NGF members agreed to hold weekly teleconference meetings to receive regular updates from all states and maintain a coordinated response to the pandemic.

According to him, he briefed state governors on various state-level coordination with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, the private sector through the food, beverages and pharmaceuticals association led by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, as well as the MTN Foundation and the donor group led by Messrs. Aliko Dangote and Herbert Wigwe.

He added that the governors also received an update from the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, and the Director General of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, on the Federal Government’s efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, as well as plans to increase the capacity of states to improve testing and care for COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Fayemi said the governors resolved that they were committed to ensuring that there was seamless movement of essential commodities throughout the country during the period of the lockdown.

He added that through the NGF secretariat, a protocol for the movement of essential services would be developed and shared with all state governments.

He said, “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.”

He explained that secretariat had worked with the National Economic Council ad hoc committee on COVID-19 to examine the impact of the pandemic on both the federal and state governments and had recommended a set of actions to manage the crisis.

-By Eniola Olatunji.

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