As part of efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the set up of 38 oxygen plants across the country.

One of each plant will be set up in all the states while Abuja and Lagos will have two plants each.

This was made known in a communiqué issued by the Nigerian Governors’ Forum on Wednesday.

The statement contained briefings from different representatives on different issues bordering on the workings of the country. This includes Boss Mustapha, the Secretary-General of the Federation and Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19.

Mr Mustapha had appeared before the Forum to give an update on the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Besides the plan to set up oxygens across the country, Mr Mustapha also said a supplementary budget had been submitted by the federal government to enable the country access additional vaccines for its citizens.

While he commended state governors for rising to the challenge of the time by providing exemplary leadership and resources to curb the impact of the pandemic, the SGF also called for continued action to maintain non-pharmaceutical interventions.

These interventions include enforcement of COVID-19 guidelines in public places and government institutions, heightened surveillance, risk communication, social mobilisation, testing and reporting of data, vaccination, as well as sustained clinical care for patients.

This new step to contain the virus comes amidst praises from experts who have hailed the nation’s efforts towards managing the pandemic.

Many have said it is gratifying to note that Nigeria has continued to witness a massive reduction in infections while the disease is still spreading in many other parts of the world including Europe, Asia and America.

The reduction was over 1,000 daily cases between December 2020 and February to less than an average of 100 per day in the past one month.

As at Tuesday, 17 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Nigeria raising the total infections in the country to 167,095. No new death has been recorded.

A total of 1,978,618 eligible persons have received the first dose of Oxford Covid-19 vaccines, while 662,464 Nigerians vaccinated with first dose have collected their second dose, according to an update by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) on its COVID-19 as of June 14.

Other matters discussed

Also discussed at the meeting were federal government’s plan to transfer of DISCO equity to states.

“Zakari Ahmed, the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure (Secretary, Power Sector Reform Working Group), delivered an update on activities of key electricity sector reforms, including the transfer of DISCO equity to states, transition strategies for electricity subsidies, and the management of State and local government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) outstanding electricity bills, part of the statement read.

After the presentation, the Forum resolved to review the proposals submitted by Mr. Zakari and communicate their position to the Power Sector Reform Working Group on a later date.

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