Nigeria Governors’ Forum meets Wednesday to strategise ahead of NEC meeting

The council may confront Sambo on alleged missing N8.5 trillion.

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum, NGF, has scheduled a fresh meeting for Wednesday to discuss the state of the nation’s economy and other critical economic issues.

In a notice, the Director-General, Asishana Okauru, said the NGF chairman and the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, requested all members to attend the meeting at the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, Abuja at 8p.m.

Mr. Okauru said the items on the agenda include – the adoption of NGF strategic plan, moving the Forum forward, action plans for 2014 and reviewing of National Economic Council, NEC, meeting agenda.

At its last meeting, the NGF had raised the issue of the missing $49.8 billion (N8.5 trillion), claiming there was no evidence that it was paid into the Federation Account or duly appropriated.

While noting that the recent decline of state revenues was not unconnected with the financial diversion, the Forum requested the National Assembly to institute a comprehensive independent forensic audit by an international reputable firm.

The Forum also said the Federal Government did not hold consultations with states before the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, was laid before the National Assembly, lamenting that NEC meeting where such issues would have been discussed last held four months ago.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the governors might use Wednesday’s meeting to strategise and adopt their position on some economic issues ahead of NEC’s meeting holding on Thursday.

The NEC statutorily headed by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, has not met for months because of the crisis rocking the body.

The council advises the Nigerian president on the economy, particularly on measures necessary for the co-ordination of the economic planning efforts or economic programmes of the various governments of the federation.

Membership of the Council, which should meet once every month, include all state governors, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Ministers of Justice, National Planning, Finance and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

The meeting of the council slated for last December was hurriedly shelved allegedly based on reports reaching Mr. Sambo that some of the state governors were planning to confront him on some economic issues.

The governors were reportedly disturbed by the state of the economy, including the $5 billion allegedly missing from the Excess Crude Account, ECA.

It is not clear if governors who are members of the Governor Jonah Jang faction of the NGF would attend Wednesday’s meeting although all the governors were invited.

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