By Emmanuel Oloniruha
Abuja – The Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) have pledged to work with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning by providing the right institutional arrangements in all States to support the generation and management of geographic information.
Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, who is the Chairman of the NGF, made the pledge while reading the communiqué issued at the end of the forum’s meeting held on Wednesday night in Abuja.
Fayemi said the decision was to ensure that state governments had the right information in identifying where people lives and how critical services could be most equitably and effectively allocated.
He noted that the governors at the meeting received a presentation from the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed, on the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) programme in Nigeria.
He commended the minister for coordinating the GRID3 programme designed to strengthen the application of geospatial data (geographic information) for evidence-based decision making in the country.
Fayemi said that the minister highlighted several applications of the programme in priority areas of government including, food security, health coverage, financial inclusion, survey and demographics and education.
Fayemi, who said that the forum received a presentation from the Senior Special Adviser to the President on the Presidential Enabling Environment Council (PEBEC), Dr Jumoke Oduwole, pledged the governors continued support and ensuring improvement in the business environment at the subnational level.
Fayemi also said that the forum received a presentation from the Minister Of Environment, Mohammed Abubakar on the need to plant 25 million trees as pledged by President Muhammadu Buhari in line with Nigeria’s commitment to its obligation under the Paris agreement.
“Members pledged to work with the Ministry by ensuring that the right institutional arrangements are in place in all States to ensure that each state supports the tree planting initiative.
“Governors agreed that states should demarcate areas and gazette them as forest reserves.
“Governors also addressed the planting of trees that animals do not consume to ensure the sustainability of the forests.
“This will ensure that State governments get the economic, social and environmental benefits Nigeria’s forests provide,”Fayemi said.
The NGF chairman disclosed that the governors also received a presentation from Hypertech Nigeria Ltd on the 3050MW Mambila Hydro Electric Power Project (MHEPP).
Fayemi said that while the team gave an overview of the huge potential that was lying fallow in the Mambilla region, the governors insisted that a presentation by the Ministers of Power and Water Resources would provide more granular pathway to what needed to be done.
“The Forum received a presentation from the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Brig.-Gen. Shuaibu Ibrahim, on the need to optimise the potentials of Corp members.
“The DG also highlighted key areas of collaboration between the Corps and the Forum.
“State governors commended the DG for his efforts since assumption of office and assured him of their support for the NYSC, to enable him achieve his goals both at the State and National levels.”