The Secretaries to Governments of All Progressives Congress (APC) States (SGSs) held their 5th Quarterly meeting under the auspices of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) on Thursday March 8 and Friday March 9, 2018 in Benin City, hosted by the Edo State Government. The overarching objective was to identify common issues of governance that can be replicated across all the APC controlled States. The theme for this 5th meeting is ‘Setting Enabling Framework for Implementation of PGF Policy Briefs’. APC SGSs and other representatives of states were in attendance at the meeting. Two Representatives of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Abuja attended. Three expert members of the PGF Governance Programme Steering Committee also attended. The Governor of Edo State represented by the Deputy Governor of Edo State, HE Philip Shaibu declared the meeting open.
The report of the 4th Quarterly meeting of Secretaries to Governments of All Progressives Congress (APC) States (SGSs) held on November 30 and December 1, 2017 in Akure, Ondo state, the Implementation Framework for the Two-Year Plan For The Institutionalization of PGF Common Legislative and Policy Frameworks In APC States and the UK – PGF-Nigeria Partnership Proposal for Sustainable Development (Kings College/ African Leadership Centre Training Proposal) formed the working document for the meeting. The presentation by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency on “Primary health Care: An Agenda for Change” is to be integrated into the framework for the preparation of PGF Health sector social policy.
- Highlights of Presentations
After presentations on key governance initiatives by Edo, Bauchi and Benue States, the participants deliberated on issues raised in the presentations. The discussions focussed on the following key issues of interest to APC states;
- The Implementation Framework for the Two-Year Plan For The Institutionalization of PGF Common Legislative and Policy Frameworks In APC States;
- UK – PGF-Nigeria Partnership Proposal for Sustainable Development (Kings College/ African Leadership Centre Training Proposal for SGSs of APC states), and
- Primary health Care: An Agenda for Change.
- Technical Committee Meeting
After the plenary and discussion sessions, the meeting set up a Technical Committee to identify common strategy for policy implementation by all the APC states.
- In view of the prevailing circumstances- social, political and economic realities of Nigeria, the meeting recommended the adoption of the Implementation Framework for the Two-Year Plan For The Institutionalization of PGF Common Legislative and Policy Frameworks in APC States to fast track the process of implementing the Prototype Bills on Security and security funding, Collection and Administration of Revenue and Universal Basic Education;
- Health is critical to development and central to attainment of other welfare goals. Attaining Health for all – Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a key commitment of the APC led Administration as enshrined in the Manifesto of the Party. The key issue therefore, is how to sustainably finance healthcare coverage in APC States, especially in the face of current fiscal constraints. We propose Contributory Health Funding Scheme as an indispensable means of funding healthcare in APC States.
- The meeting noted that although agriculture is the biggest employer of labour in Nigeria, its contribution to the GDP is significantly below its potential and not commensurate to the number of people it employs. With a rapidly growing population, agriculture is expected to contribute significantly to the eradication of poverty and hunger, increase its share to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), increase foreign exchange earnings, and promote industrialization and digital capacity. APC state governments, working with the private sector should strengthen all year farming through increased investment in irrigation, farm mechanization, expand land utilization and introduce high yielding seeds. This should be followed with a programme that allows easy access to farmland.
- Infrastructure development is a key driver for progress across the Nigerian state and a critical enabler for productivity and sustainable economic growth. To this end, the meeting recommends that each state completes all on going priority projects and attention be given to projects that can be completed within the lifespan of each state’s government administration.
- State government are implored to make payment of salary to workers and pension to retirees as priorities to bring about stability in body politics across the different states.
- General Issues
The meeting agreed to continually share information, ideas and knowledge through its quarterly meetings and the PGF Secretariat to promote synergy across the member States and facilitate greater cooperation for sustainable development.
The meeting thanked the Edo state government for its hospitality throughout our stay here.
The venue and date for the Next Quarterly meeting will be determined later.
Osarodion Ogie Esq. Salihu Moh. Lukman
SGS Edo State Director General, PGF