Monday, April 22, 2024

U.S. Embassy says Americans are buying Nigerian children, imprisoning pregnant women; engaging in illegal adoption, fraud: Governors

The governors “pledged to engage the relevant ministries, departments and agencies of government in a bid to address the situation.”

• March 21, 2024

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE VIRTUAL MEETING OF THE NIGERIA GOVERNORS’ FORUM (NGF) HELD ON WEDNESDAY, 20TH MARCH 2024

We, members of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at our meeting held today, Wednesday 20th March 2024, deliberated on various issues of national importance and resolved as follows:

1. The Forum commiserated with the Governor of Delta State, H.E Sheriff Oborevwori, over the communal clash between Okuama in the Ughelli South Local Government Area and Okolaba in the Bomadi Local Government Area of Delta State, and which led to the death of many including sixteen (16) military personnel. While condemning the heinous act, members observed a minute of silence for the souls of the departed.

2. 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 peculiarities and consequential impact on the capacity of the government as well as private sector employers to pay. Members also emphasized the need for proposals to be data- driven and evidence-based.

3. The Forum highlighted the need for State policing as a critical amendment in the ongoing 1999 Constitutional Amendment proceedings to correct a fundamental flaw in the national security architecture.

4. Members discussed the growing concern raised by the United States Embassy over illegal and fraudulent intercountry adoption of Nigerian children by US citizens including systemic fraud and corruption, child- buying, the imprisonment of pregnant women, and unreliable or non-existent documentation. Members pledged to engage the relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government in a bid to address the situation.

5. The Forum discussed the progress made by States in implementing various business enabling reforms including those aimed at improving land administration, Public Private Partnership (PPP), investment promotion frameworks, business-enabling infrastructure and regulatory environment under the World Bank supported State Action on Business Enabling Reforms (SABER) Program for Result. Members were implored to leverage available support within the program in implementing related reforms to stimulate further economic growth.

6. The Forum received an update from the NGF Senior Health Advisor, Dr. Ahmad Abdulwahab on the Health Sector Renewal Compact, the next round of the Primary Health Care (PHC) Leadership Challenge and the UNICEF Child Nutrition Fund. Members restated their commitment to deliver on requisite actions and reforms to achieve the objectives of the various initiatives.

H.E Abdul Rahman Abdul Rasaq

Executive Governor, Kwara State & Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum

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