The Northern States Governors’ Forum has said there are no plans to issue a lockdown order in the region considering the economic consequences it may have on citizens.
In a meeting conducted via teleconference and chaired by the forum’s Chairman, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, the governors discussed the impact of coronavirus in the region as well as measures adopted by individual states to deal with the disease.
Lalong’s Director of Press and Public Affairs, Macham Makut, released a statement on Monday, stating the position of the governors.
Makut said the governors resolved to strengthen preventive measures against the pandemic through enhanced boundary controls and surveillance, as well as greater collaboration to ensure that there was a synergy among them in restriction of movement.
“They (northern governors) agreed that at the moment, each state would adopt the measure suitable to its setting because total lockdown of the region will come at a very high cost since most of its citizens are farmers who need to go to farms since the rains have started,” the statement read.
The governors also discussed the absence of testing centres in the region despite its population size.
“The northern governors lamented that the region has no testing centre, which is very disturbing. They resolved to again liaise with the Federal Government to ensure that each state at least gets one testing centre while highly populated ones get two,” Makut added.
They consequently set up a seven-man committee chaired by the Governor of Kebbi State, Atiku Bagudu, to fashion out the way forward.
Other members are the governors of Kaduna, Sokoto, Kwara, Nasarawa, Jigawa, Gombe and Nasarawa states.