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Governors Want Economy Stimulated With N2 Trillion Infrastructure Fund

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Kayode Fayemi

By Matthew Ogune, Abuja

The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Thursday emphasized the importance of the N2 trillion Nigeria Infrastructure Investment Fund to stimulate the economy.

The NGF also advocated for the need to revitalize Nigeria’s Mortgage Bank to support the government’s ambitious housing programme.

The position of the governors was contained in a communiqué issued Thursday morning by Dr. Kayode Fayemi, Chairman of NGF, at the end of the Forum’s 12th Covid-19 teleconference meeting, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent in Abuja.

According to the communiqué, the state Governors also resolved among other things to collaborate with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and FERMA to ensure the implementation of the 5 percent user charge on the pump price of petrol and the international vehicle transit charge to better fund road projects in Nigeria.

“Members also advocated for the need to revitalize Nigeria’s Mortgage Bank to support the government’s ambitious housing programme, and the importance of the N2 trillion Nigeria Infrastructure Investment Fund to stimulate the economy.

“Collaborate with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and FERMA to ensure the implementation of the 5% user charge on the pump price of petrol and the international vehicle transit charge to better fund road projects in Nigeria.

“Although the second corruption survey focused on federal government agencies, members resolved to collaborate with UNODC to strengthen public complaints mechanisms across State MDAs given that state institutions, businesses and households are affected by bribe seeking among public sector officials.

“Collaborate with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to support the implementation of the National Gas Expansion Programme through a state-wide adoption of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); easing gas pipeline right of way applications; and encouraging the micro stove assembly for small businesses, including facilitating training for gas operators.

“Finally, given the rise in the community spread of coronavirus cases with mild or no symptom, State governments are encouraged to ramp up testing to curb the spread of the virus especially amongst those with preexisting conditions and the elderly” added Fayemi.

The NGF Chairman said that Oliver Stolpe, Country Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Nigeria and Dr. Yemi Kale, Statistician General, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) presented findings of the second Corruption Survey in Nigeria, which showed that the incidence of bribery has decreased since 2016 when the survey was first conducted, from 32.3 percent to 30.2percent.

Also, Timipre Sylva, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, also addressed the Forum on the National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) which is designed as a catalyst to adding value to the vast natural gas reserves in Nigeria. The plan will also spur revitalization across gas-based industries in fertilizer, methanol, textiles and feedstock for industries.

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