Accessing UBE Funds: Governors To Engage FG Over Suspension Of State Counterpart Funds . By Saheed Badmus


As States With Unresolved Issues with Residents Doctors Enjoined To Embrace Workable Solutions

The thirty six states’ Governors under the aegis of Nigerian Governors Forum says it would continue to engage with the federal government on the
suspension of State counterpart funds required for accessing UBE funds.

The governors Forum Chair by Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State made this known on Wednesday in a communique issued at the end of the a 14th Teleconference Meeting of the States’ Governors.

According to Governor Fayemi “the meeting deliberated on the ongoing negotiation between the NGF and the federal government to waive the requirement that State governments
provide counterpart funds before they can access Universal Basic Education (UBE) Funds.

“The move was taken in the light of the impact of COVID-19 which has affected the capacity of State governments to provide counterpart funds required to access various national funds and statutory levies”.

Forum had adopted the Report of the National Economic Council Ad-Hoc
Committee on COVID-19 chaired by the Vice President, which recommended the immediate suspension of the requirement for State Governments to provide matching funds to access grants like UBEC.

In another development, the forum enjoined State governments with unresolved issues with their Resident Doctors to meet with the Association at the local level to agree on
workable solutions in the face of the current challenges in the country.

Governor Fayemi noted that despite the intervention of the Forum in the nationwide strike action by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) in June 2020, some of the States Governments still have unresolved issues with the Resident Doctors

He therefore enjoined the Governors concerned to engage with the State branches of the Association to resolve the disputes. Some of the issues include unpaid salaries for doctors and the non-domestication and non-implementation of the Medical Residency Training Act, 2017.

The NGF also resolved that all COVID-19 Task Forces in the various States would work closely with their Palliatives Implementation Committees to target the most vulnerable population in society for the distribution of the CACOVID palliatives, particularly in local governments that have been identified as epicenters.

The forum noted that states would take
cognizance of the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 infection and should
start preparing preventive measures.

According to the Chairman of the Governors Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi “the Forum received further updates from Alhaji Aliko Dangote on behalf of the Coalition against COVID-19 (CACOVID) on the flag-off and distribution of CACOVID palliatives to States.

“The flag-off started on Tuesday, 4th August 2020 in Borno, Edo, Enugu and Kano States.The launch is ongoing and will hold daily across one State each in the six geopolitical zones until Tuesday 11th August 2020 when it will be concluded in all 36 States of the Federation.

“The Honourable Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba briefed members on guidelines for the resumption of schools in the country.

“The Ministry has been engaging with governors through the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and through regular meetings with State Commissioners for Education.

“The Chairman of the NGF Sub-Committee interfacing with the Presidential Task
Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Governor Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa of Delta State briefed Governors of the measures discussed with the PTF on reopening the economy.

“His update highlighted concerns such as guidelines required to reopen schools; resumption of international flights; the need for increased testing capacity and sample collection centers in all local government areas in the
country; disbursement of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund and other health￾related facilities; dissemination of guidelines for home care for COVID-19 cases; and the non-availability of reagents in the country due to its high demand globally.

“The Programme Manager NGF HelpDesk – SFTAS Technical Assistance Project, Olanrewaju Ajogbasile provided an update on the States’ Fiscal
Transparency, Accountability and (SFTAS) programme and pending actions for
State governments, including the publication of comprehensive audited financial
statements by five (5) remaining States and preparations for the 2019 SFTAS
Annual Performance Assessment (APA) exercise to be conducted by the Office of
the Auditor General of the Federation (OAuGF) starting 9th August 2020″.

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