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Governors meet on PIB, doctors’ strike, others Wednesday



Governors from the 36 states in Nigeria will meet on Wednesday to deliberate on the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and the ongoing strike by resident doctors, among others.

President Muhammadu Buhari signed the PIB on Monday.

However, several individuals and groups in the country including the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had criticized the President for signing the PIB despite outcry over the 3 percent allocation to oil-producing communities and other provisions of the document.

The resident doctors began an indefinite nationwide strike on August 2 over grievances that include the delayed payment of salaries and allowances.

The Head of Media and Media Publicity, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, who disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja, said the governors would also discuss the planned commencement of the second phase of the COVID- 19 vaccination, and the Water Resources Bill pending before the National Assembly among others.

The statement read: “Three pro-poor issues will feature prominently on the Nigeria Governors’ Forum’s 33rd Teleconference meeting, the 10th in 2021 which takes place on Wednesday 18th August 2021.

“The Director-General of the NGF, Mr. Asishana Bayo Okauru, in the invitation to the meeting itemised the National Poverty reduction and growth strategy, the second phase of the COVID-19 vaccination and other health updates, as well as the ongoing strike by the Nigeria Association of Resident Doctors, and the campaign for building a new mindset for a united Nigeria as some of the crucial issues to dominate the meeting.

READ ALSO: PIB: Buhari a courageous leader with determination to lead Nigeria aright – APC

 “The meeting which promises to be very heavy on solving critical national questions will also dwell on states’ participation in Nigeria Electrification Project and Solar Power Naija, in a presentation by the nation’s Rural Electrification Agency.

“The Nigerian Security Minting and Printing Company will also address the Forum on how to leverage Modern Security Document Solutions.

“The Campaign on Building a New Mindset for a United Nigeria will be anchored by Ambassadors of Voice for Change led by Bala Ahmed and Zack Orji.

“Other items on the agenda, according to Mr. Okauru, include an update on the refund of withholding taxes (WHT) and Stamp Duties, the Nigerian Postal Service Bill, 2021 & Collection of Stamp Duties, and the recently signed Petroleum Industry Bill where the governors are expected to identify next steps among other issues.

“The health update by the NGF Health Advisor, Dr. Ahmad Abdulwahab, will be followed by another update on the 2nd Phase of COVID-19 vaccination by Dr. Faisal Shuaib, while the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa Committee of the NGF will brief governors on its appraisal of the PTF thus far.

“The NGF Chairman, Dr. John Kayode Fayemi’s keynote address to the Association for General & Private Medical Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMN), where he enjoined doctors to honour their Hippocratic oaths by seeking other means of pushing their demands and avoid resorting to strikes, will round up the health section of the deliberations.’’

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