• Seek alteration of constitution to accommodate security arrangement


From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has reiterated its call for major changes to the country’s security framework and a crackdown on illicit foreign adoption rackets involving Nigerian children.

A communique issued by the NGF Chairman and Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq, noted that the governors, in their virtual meeting, focused mostly on the two problems.

Regarding security, they emphasised the need to urgently alter the 1999 Constitution to give room for the creation of state police. They argued that this would correct a fundamental flaw in the current national security system.

They also expressed grave concerns over the reports from the United States Embassy about the systemic corruption enabling illegal adoption of Nigerian children by American citizens.

“Members discussed the growing concern raised by the United States Embassy over illegal and fraudulent inter-country adoption of Nigerian children by the US citizens, including systemic fraud and corruption, child-buying, imprisonment of pregnant women and unreliable or non-existent documentation.

“Members pledged to engage the relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies of government, to address the situation,” he added.

The Forum commiserated with the Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, over the recent communal clash between Okuama and Okoloba communities, which claimed the lives of 17 military personnel, among others.

They condemned the violence and held a moment of silence for the victims.

The NGF urged the National Minimum Wage Committee to consider the current economic realities, the financial capacities of both the state governments and the private employers, and to rely on data-driven, evidence-based proposals.

“Members reviewed the progress of the National Minimum Wage Committee (NMWC) and ongoing multi-stakeholder engagements towards agreeing on a fair minimum wage.

“Members urged the NMWC to consider the current realities, individual state’s peculiarities, and consequential impact on the capacity of the government, as well as private sector employers to pay,” he said .

Other items on the agenda included state-level implementation progress for the World Bank’s business enabling reforms programme, and updates on health initiatives, like the Primary Health Care Leadership Challenge and UNICEF’s Child Nutrition Fund.