Governors Claim committed to health insurance scheme, NGF”

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) says it
is committed to State Health Insurance
Scheme for an efficient primary healthcare
system that would deliver priority health
needs to Nigerians.
The Chairman of the Forum, Abdulaziz Yari
of Zamfara, stated this on Thursday while
briefing journalists on the outcome of the
forum’s meeting held on Wednesday night in
Abuja.
Mr Yari, who read the communique from the
meeting, said the forum received briefing on
”Roadmap to Achieving Universal Health
Coverage at the Subnational Level.”
He said that governors pledged to maintain
ongoing reforms, including domesticating the
State Health Insurance Scheme to achieve
strong and efficient primary healthcare
systems that would deliver priority health
needs to all Nigerians.
Mr Yari said the forum pledged to work with
the National Assembly to ensure the
inclusion of States Fiscal Transparency,

Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS)
project in the external borrowing plan.
He said that the forum would also
collaborate with World Bank on SFTAS
projects to strengthen ongoing fiscal reforms
at sub-national level to achieve better public-
sector management and fiscal sustainability.
“Governors noted that the effective
implementation of the SFTAS project will
substantially increase available fiscal
resources for productive public spending at
the State level in the medium-term.
“We also believe that it will help state
governments to strengthen domestic revenue
mobilisation, public investment and debt
sustainability,’’ he said.
Fielding questions from journalists, Mr Yari
said that the forum was yet to receive
harmonised report on minimum wage from
its members in the federal government
committee on the matter.

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He said the forum was represented in the
committee by governors of Kebbi, Plateau,
Gombe, Osun, Imo and Rivers.
The chairman disclosed that the governors
declined request by Presidents of the Nigeria
Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union
Congress (TUC) to interact with them at the
meeting.
According to him, it is only when we receive
that report that we can interact.

“Governor of Kebbi will coordinate the report
and our work will commence so that we
have the harmonized report for next meeting
to enable us to send our input to the federal
government committee.”
On deadlock in the meeting of Federation
Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), Mr
Yari said that there was no rift between the
governors and Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC) as being reported.
He explained that the issue was
disagreement in the figures presented by the
corporation.
According to him, the governors were not
comfortable with irregularities and
discrepancies in monthly remittances,
amounts for subsidies and cost of
maintenance being withdrawn at will by the
NNPC.
“You cannot just dip hands into public money
and say this is what you are going to do.
“You either seek the approval of the
National Executive Council or the president,

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but you took the money at your discretion
without approval.
“NNPC is owned by federal, state and local
governments. The states and local
governments have 48 per cent and Federal
Government 52 per cent. Therefore, we need
to speak out when we disagree.
“We are not quarrelling but we are having
disagreement on the numbers and we are
saying NNPC should return this money for
public sharing. If that one is settled FAAC
will go ahead.

“It is not that we are comfortable.
Tomorrow, if they bring another number we
will say no because it is public purse,” Mr
Yari said.
He expressed the forum’s condolence to the
people and government of Sokoto, Kastina
and Ogun states over recent attacks and
disasters which claimed lives and property in
the states.
He said that the proposed meeting between
governors and security chiefs had not held
because some of the security bosses critical
to the discussion were away on national
assignments outside the country.
“Some just came back last night and some
are still outside the country.

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“This is why we have not been able to have
it, but we are still on the agenda to meet
the security chiefs so that we can discuss
the issue of security nationwide.”

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