Governors, Sylva’s panel to work on PIA’s grey areas

Governors have agreed to works with the Timipre Sylva-led Implementation Committee to smoothen the rough edges in the controversial Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), it was learnt on Thursday.

At their 33rd teleconference meeting, the governors’ under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF), agreed to set up a seven-man panel to work out the gray areas with the federal committee.

Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva.

They also resolved to maintain a neutral position on the legal dispute between the Federal and Rivers governments on the Value Added Tax (VAT) until all parties to the suit exhaust appeal opportunities.

The governors’ resolutions on some national issues are contained in a communique issued at the end of the meeting, singed by the NGF Chairman and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi.

The communique released in Abuja yesterday reads: “On the Petroleum Industry Bill recently assented to by Mr. President, following an update by the Chairman of the Forum, Governor Kayode Fayemi, the meeting resolved to work with the Steering Committee set up by Mr. President to oversee the process of the implementation of the Act headed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, on the areas of concern to the forum.

“A committee for this purpose, chaired by the Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule and his colleagues from Abia (Okezie Ikpeazu); Ogun (Prince Dapo Abiodun); Kwara (AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq); Akwa Ibom (Udom Emmanuel); Gombe (Inuwa Yahaya) and Kaduna (Nasir El-Rufai), was constituted.

“On the recent Federal High Court Judgment on Value Added Tax (VAT), the forum resolved not to make any pronouncements until all litigations regarding the matter were concluded.

“On COVID-19 vaccine administration, the Forum received an update on the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out for the country from the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who informed members that 3,363 vaccination sites across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT have been designated for the roll out of the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination.

“Members reiterated their commitment to provide leadership and oversight for the effective flag-off and implementation of the second phase of the vaccination exercise.

“On a related matter, members resolved to take additional measures to curb the resurgence of the spread of COVID-19 virus by working with the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) to develop applicable guidelines.

“The forum’s Senior Health Advisor, Dr. Ahmad Abdulwahab, briefed Governors on the emerging cholera outbreak in the country which has so far affected 23 states, with over 47,000 cases recorded.

“State governors took a common position on a holistic approach to addressing health security challenges by domesticating the National Action Plan for Health Security with the support from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to build core health security capacities in surveillance, laboratory network, emergency operations and workforce in all states.

“Following an update by Dr. Abdulwahab regarding the ongoing strike action by members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the Forum resolved to take a mediatory role to facilitate dialogue between NARD and the affected states.

OkCrude Oil

“After a presentation by the Managing Director of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), Ahmad Salihijo, on opportunities to strengthen collaboration between the agency and states, governors resolved that each state nominates a focal person who will work with the REA to coordinate rural electrification projects in all states.

“This collaboration between states and REA will target among others, increase in energy access through new solar connections; and increased local content in off-grid solar value chains, including the assembly or manufacturing of components of off-grid solutions.

“Finally, an update on the States’ Fiscal Transparency, Accountability, and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme-for-Results (PforR) was made by Mr. Olanrewaju Ajogbasile, the NGF SFTAS Senior Programme Manager, who provided updates on the upcoming deadlines for the achievement of Disbursement-Linked Results (DLRs), the ongoing Annual Performance Assessment (APA) by the Independent Verification Agent (IVA) and the States’ debt reconciliation exercise being carried out in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (FMBNP), the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Debt Management Office (DMO).

“The forum committed to providing the support and direction necessary to ensure the successful implementation of reforms recommended by the programme.”

Source: The Nation

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