The Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) is not happy with Journalists over the report of the looming recession warning raised on Monday by the Chairman of the forum, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara state.
The warning which has generated a lot of backlash for the governor did not go down well with the forum, it was learnt.
Consequently, Journalists who came to cover the day two of the induction programme for newly-elected and returning governors were barred from gaining entrance into the venue.
The three-day induction programme is ongoing at the State House Conference Center, (Banquet Hall), Abuja.
According to The Nation, the State House Correspondents and the accredited NGF correspondents were not allowed entrance into the venue.
Yari had in his opening remarks on Monday warned incoming governors to be prepared for the possibility of another cycle of recession by the mid-2020 to the third quarter of 2021.
The NGF chair who was preparing the minds of the governors, especially the newly elected ones of the challenges ahead had noted that while the crude oil price was over $100 from 2011-15, the price noise dived to less than 75 per cent from 2015 leading to recession.
“On our part, we made a lot of achievements in infrastructural development and provision of social services because we enjoyed a relatively high oil price of about $100 to $114 per barrel between 2001 and the middle of 2014.
“However, by the mid-2014, the price of crude oil, which is sadly the main driving force of government’s expenditure, dropped to $75 per barrel. It, therefore, became very difficult for many states to even pay salaries of their workers.
“This scenario is a wake-up call for all of you to come amply prepared to face these kinds of challenges, especially since we are expecting the possibility of another cycle of recession by mid-2020 and which may last up to third quarter of 2021.
“Your good spirit of stewardship will make you contain the situation should there be one. Also, as members of the National Economic Council, you must work hand in hand to boost the economy in tandem with the global best practices,” he said.
As at the time of filing this report, there is no official statement on why Journalists were barred from further coverage.
Not even the Forum spokesperson, Mr Abdulrazaq Barkindo was able to provide an answer to why the reporters were not granted access to the venue.
Barkindo who dismissed the suggestion that the directive came from the NGF posited that the security officials took the decision on their own accord.
He also said all efforts to get them to reverse the decision failed.