Governors of the 36 states of Nigeria have resolved to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari “as soon as possible to address security challenges across the country, particularly in the light of the carnage in Borno State”.

The governors took the decision at the 22nd meeting of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) held on Wednesday.

They had been briefed by the delegation they sent to commiserate with Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno State on December 1, 2020, over the killing of more than 40 rice farmers in Garin Kwashebe in Jere Local Government Area of the state.

The victims were harvesting rice when the terrorists unexpectedly pounced on them, killing them in gruesome manner.

The terror sect has since claimed responsibility for the massacre, claiming that the farmers once arrested one of its members and handed him over to the authorities.

The NGF, in a communiqué issued in Abuja on Friday, also elected to support the necessary reforms that will result in a police force that works for all.

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“As an immediate to medium-term measure, members agreed to pay close attention to the conduct of police officers across the country in order to get them and other internal security operatives fully back to work as they have not been functioning to full capacity since the EndSARS protests with the attendant security exposure to the safety of lives and properties of the ordinary citizens,” they said.

The governors also discussed the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) industrial action and urged the Federal Government and the union to urgently resolve their differences to allow for immediate reopening of the nation’s tertiary institutions.

They asked both sides to “hasten the implementation of the truce elements in their resolutions so as to allow schools reopen immediately.”

They faulted the practice where the Federal Government is currently collecting stamp duties, insisting that stamp duties “belong primarily to states and the various collection platforms are channels of payment to the states; while aligning with the guidance provided by its lawyers and experts.”

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The governors also endorsed the two proposals canvassing infrastructure development by both the Governor Nasir el Rufai Committee and the Central Bank Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele.

The el-Rufai’s Adhoc Committee Leverage Portion of Accumulated Pension Funds for Investment in Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) is proposing the creation of a National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF) such that a total sum of N2 trillion at 9% interest can be accessed through the NSIA.

The Governors’ Forum Chairman, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, told the meeting about a similar proposal by the CBN Governor to enable states access N15 trillion naira for national infrastructure funding through INFRACREDIT at a lower interest rate of 5%.

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