State governors reject FG deductions from LG funds to build health centres

The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) has rejected the decision of the federal government to withdraw local government funds to build health centres across the 774 local government areas.

They also demanded a halt to disbursements of already deducted funds to benefiting contractors while questioning the legality and legitimacy of the federal government’s decision on the issue.

This was contained in a communique issued at the end of the 18th Teleconference (Emergency meeting) of the forum held on Thursday.

The communique which was signed by the Chairman of the NGF, Governor Kayode Fayemi, was issued in Abuja, on Friday.

According to the document, the emergency meeting was convened to deliberate on two key issues namely: ALGON Vs FAAC: deduction of LGC statutory allocation for the construction of primary healthcare centers in each of the 774 LGAs; and the NLC & TUC call for a national strike action over the recent increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit and increase in Electricity Tariff.

Tambuwal said “Governors expressed serious concerns over the deductions from the Federation Allocation of the 774 local governments of the country to construct and equip healthcare centres in each local government area on behalf of the Association of Local Government Areas of Nigeria.

“The Forum rejected the legality and the legitimacy of the contract including all financing arrangements.”

The governors also resolved to: “Call on the Minister for Finance and the Accountant General of the Federation not to disburse to receiving entities monies already deducted for the construction of primary healthcare centers in each of the 774 LGAs, and that further deductions should be halted forthwith.

“Constitute a Committee comprising the Governors of Ekiti (Chairman), Ebonyi, Delta, Gombe, Plateau, and Kano States to represent State and local governments on the matter.”

The committee was also saddled with the responsibility of approaching Mr. President, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, the National Judicial Council and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning on the issue.

On the proposed industrial action by labour, the governors appealed to the NLC and the TUC to exercise restraint noting that the Nigerian economy which took a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic could ill afford another shut down.

Members of the NGF suggested the provision of palliatives to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal while pledging to use the period of the reprieve given by the judgement of the Industrial Court halting the proposed nationwide strike to intervene.

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