Osinbajo appoints Okowa to lead Committee on reopening economy

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta state

The National Economic Council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has set up a set up lean committee of seven to work with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 on the reopening of the economy.

The Committee that will be led by Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, also includes the governors of Lagos, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Plateau, and the FCT Minister.

According to the Vice President, the Committee will ensure that there would be an even more effective collaboration and coordination between the Federal Government’s Presidential Task Force and the States of the Federation including the FCT.

It would be recalled that on Thursday the chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, countered governors on the reopening of worship centres.

Speaking after the first virtual NEC meeting, Governor Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State told reporters that council received an update on Polio Eradication and support to Community Transmission of COVID-19 (CTA) presented by the Minister of Health.

He said: “Updates indicated that Nigeria is moving towards polio eradication and on course to be certified as Wild Polio Free by the World Health Organisation (WHO) African Region next month.

“It also indicated that no wild polio cases was reported in Nigeria for 44 months.

“The NPHCDA adopted the Polio structure which is the Incident Management System to tackle the COVID-19 at the PHCs and community levels in all the states and FCT.

“States governments, governors are urged to facilitate the establishment of structures to coordinate efforts to stop community transmission of COVID-19.

“The report of NEC’s Adhoc committee to Review Status of Ownership of Structure of Electricity Power Distribution Company (DISCOs) headed by the Kaduna State Governor was received.

“The report was delivered, adopted and now being implemented but due to the lockdown not all members have signed the report.

Asked if the states can pay salaries as at when due is the Federal Government has suspended deductions from bailout fund, he said, “I think most of the states are paying salaries already.

“But we have not seen the worst yet, I may not be able to answer this question correctly until we see what comes up in the next part, that is when we expect the worst-case scenario on the fallen oil prices.

“And at that time we will do the calculation and all the scenarios will come up and that will determine whether we will be able to pay salaries or not,” he said.