Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto
Secretaries to Governments of All Progressives Congress (APC) States (SGSs), saturday rose from the 2nd Quarterly meeting under the auspices of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF), and urged governors to set up a Security Trust Fund, with a view to improving security in the country.
This call was contained in a communique read by the Secretary to the Sokoto State Government, Prof. Bashir Garba, made available to THISDAY in Sokoto at the weekend.
The communique advised that member States should adopt and adapt the Security Trust Fund model law produced from PGFâ€™s Legislative Expert Session. It also recommended that at least one per cent of total costs of all contracts awarded by States and Local Governments be paid into the Trust Fund.
The meeting acknowledged the critical need for enhanced revenue base of States and recommended that States should adopt the Collection and Administration of Revenue Model law to establish an Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
According to the communique, this is to enhance the generation of resources in each of the APC states to engender implementation of policy initiatives. It also urged APC state governments as a bloc to align their agricultural policies with those of the Federal Government to maximise their benefits.
â€œThe States should also work with the private sector to strengthen all year farming through increased investment in irrigation, farm mechanisation, expand land utilisation and introduce smart and precision agriculture. There is also the need to develop clusters of farmers within and across states and provide supports to the clusters across the value chain,â€ the communique read.
It said to achieve this requires investing at least 10 per cent of state budget on agriculture and the political will to ensure release of funds and proper utilisation on knowledge and data base agriculture.
The communique advised APC State governments to declare â€˜State of Emergency on Educationâ€ to improve education infrastructure for better learning. It stressed the need for a policy of compulsory skill acquisition for all young school leavers to make education relevant to society to be put in place.
The communique underscored the need for APC states to amend the UBEC Act towards changing the ratio of the counterpart funding to a lesser percentage for states.
â€œAll APC states are advised to enact appropriate â€˜Right to Education lawâ€™ and strengthen School Management Committees. A Public Private Partnership funding arrangement should be adopted, while also seeking funding from Development partners,â€ the communique added.
The meeting to this end, commended the Federal and States Governmentsâ€™ efforts in tackling security issues in Nigeria, particularly in the North East, and securing the release of another 82 of the abducted Chibok girls