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Govs Call For State Policing, Action On Illegal Child Adoption

The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has demanded major reforms to the nation’s security architecture and crackdown on illegal international adoption rackets involving Nigerian children.

These were top issues at the Governors’ virtual meeting on Wednesday.

On the security front, NGF members highlighted the critical need to amend the 1999 Constitution to allow for the establishment of state policing forces.

They argued this would correct a fundamental flaw in the current national security system.

“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,” said the NGF Chairman and Kwara State governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq.

The governors also expressed grave concerns over reports from the United States Embassy about systemic corruption enabling illegal adoption of Nigerian children by American citizens.

This includes disturbing issues like child-buying, jailing of pregnant women to obtain their babies, and widespread issuance of fraudulent documentation.

“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,” he added.

The Governors commiserated with Delta State Governor, Sheriff Oborevwori over the recent deadly communal clash between Okuama and Okolaba communities which claimed the lives of 16 military personnel, among others.

They condemned the violence and held a moment of silence for the victims.

Regarding the national minimum wage review, the NGF urged the National Minimum Wage Committee to consider the current economic realities, the financial capacities of both state governments and private employers, and to rely on data-driven, evidence-based proposals.

“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,” he said.

Other items on the governors’ agenda included state-level implementation progress for the World Bank’s business enabling reforms programme, and updates on health initiatives like the Primary Health Care Leadership Challenge and UNICEF’s Child Nutrition Fund.

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