The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has called for significant reforms in the country’s security architecture and a crackdown on illegal international adoption schemes involving Nigerian children.

nigeria governors forum
nigeria governors forum

These issues took center stage during the Governors’ virtual meeting held on Wednesday.

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Regarding security, NGF members emphasized the urgent need to amend the 1999 Constitution to permit the establishment of state police forces. They argued that this amendment is essential to rectify a fundamental flaw in the current national security framework.

NGF Chairman and Kwara State governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, stated, “The Forum stressed the necessity for State policing as a crucial amendment in the ongoing 1999 Constitutional Amendment process to address a fundamental flaw in the national security setup.”

Furthermore, the governors expressed deep concerns about reports from the United States Embassy regarding systemic corruption facilitating the illegal adoption of Nigerian children by American citizens. This includes alarming practices such as child trafficking, the incarceration of pregnant women to obtain their babies, and the issuance of fraudulent documentation.

Abdulrazaq added, “The members discussed the escalating apprehension raised by the United States Embassy concerning illicit and deceitful intercountry adoption of Nigerian children by US citizens, involving systemic fraud and corruption, child trafficking, imprisonment of pregnant women, and unreliable or nonexistent documentation.”

The Governors extended condolences to Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori, following a recent deadly communal clash between Okuama and Okolaba communities, which resulted in the loss of lives, including 16 military personnel. They condemned the violence and observed a moment of silence for the victims.

Regarding the review of the national minimum wage, the NGF urged the National Minimum Wage Committee to take into account current economic realities, the financial capabilities of state governments and private employers, and to base their recommendations on data-driven, evidence-based proposals.

“Members assessed the progress made by the National Minimum Wage Committee (NMWC) and ongoing consultations with various stakeholders towards reaching a fair minimum wage. They encouraged the NMWC to consider present circumstances, individual state peculiarities, and the resulting impact on government and private sector employers’ ability to pay,” Abdulrazaq stated.

Other items discussed during the governors’ meeting included updates on state-level implementation of the World Bank’s business-enabling reforms program, as well as progress reports on health initiatives such as the Primary Health Care Leadership Challenge and UNICEF’s Child Nutrition Fund.