The Northern State Governors” Forum (NGF) under the leadership of Plateau State Governor, Simon Bako Lalung had met on Monday 13th April, 2020 to discuss the Impact of COVID 19 on their economies in the region.
Among the decisions taken at the meeting was the setting up of a 7 – Man Committee chaired by Governor of Kebbi State Atiku Abubakar Bagudu to fashion out the way forward. Other members are Governors of Kaduna, Sokoto, Kwara, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Gombe and Nasarawa State.
The committee among other issues would look at the economic impact of COVID-19 on the region and take a holistic look at the economic prospects of the region with a view to repositioning it for less reliance on Federal Allocation and to prepare for the future by diversifying to areas of comparative advantage such as agriculture, manufacturing, tourism and human capital development.
This is contained in a Press Statement signed by Dr. Makut Simon Macham, ANIPR Director, Press & Public Affairs to the Governor of Plateau State & Chairman, Northern States Governors Forum on 13th April 2020.
The meeting which was conducted via teleconference and Chaired by the Forum’s Chairman, Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State also discussed the various measures put in place to curtail the spread of Corona Virus and how the Pandemic has affected their people as well as experience sharing on measures adopted by individual States to curb the spread of the virus.
After receiving reports from various States, the Forum resolved to strengthen preventive measures against the pandemic through enhanced border controls and surveillance as well as greater collaboration to ensure that there is synergy among them in movement restriction.
They observed that so far, the lockdown measure in some States in the region has had varying levels of success, but also raised concerns that enforcing cross-border movements remains a challenge as some of the cases recorded in some States were imported from outside despite the closure of borders by States.
The governors agreed that at the moment, each State would adopt the measure suitable to its setting because the total lockdown of the region will come at a very high cost since most of its citizens are farmers who need to go to farms since the rains have started.
The Northern Governors also commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the measures taken so far to deal with the pandemic and promised to do their part in working with the Federal Government to contain the disease.