The National Economic Council (NEC) has resolved to constitute a committee comprising the Federal Government and State governors as well as other relevant stakeholders to find immediate and long-term solutions to flooding problems across the country.
At a meeting presided over by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, the Council noted that the committee liaising with critical stakeholders, would support efforts, whether short, medium or long term, in mitigating the impact of flooding as well as finding lasting solutions to the issue.
Budget support deduction
In a move to explore how to provide further financial succor for States regarding repayment of the Federal Government’s Budget Support Facility, NEC has decided to review the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) plan to commence deductions from State governments’ share of the monthly federal allocations.
The Council resolved to also set up a committee with representatives of the Federal Government and the States to review the matter.
“Bearing in mind all of the financial difficulties, we take the position to review the plan to commence the deduction for the loan”, the VP said.
NEC resolved that representatives of the Governors’ Forum, the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, among others, meet to review modalities for the imminent deductions of funds from States by the Apex bank, to repay the Budget Support Facility granted to them by the Federal Government.
The Council noted that the decision was in consideration of current difficulties experienced by State governments in fulfilling their financial obligations.
National Social Protection Policy
The Council also endorsed the revised National Social Protection Policy presented by Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed.
This implied that the policy will now go to the Federal Executive Council and from there to the National Assembly.
She said when passed, the new policy will replace the “2017-2022 National Social Protection Policy.”
‘’The 2017-2022 National Social Protection Policy “was reviewed in consultation with all States and other stakeholders and it is to be subjected to review every 5 years for update and accommodation of some emerging issues including Pandemics, insecurity and shock responsive Social Protection as well as new institutions”, the Minister of Finance explained.
She added that the expected benefits of the revised NSPP include among others, “reduction of multi-dimensional poverty; promoting social justice, equity and inclusive growth; reduce unemployment, social and economic vulnerabilities, and other threats to sustainable development.”
Council also commended the efforts of stakeholders including the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in the vaccination of more Nigerians against COVID-19.
According to the presentation of the COVID-19 scorecard by the Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shaibu, “over 127 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been procured and administered through collaborations by the Federal Government and other partners since the inception of the exercise.
“Additional 10.5 million doses of Johnson and Johnson vaccines have been procured by the Federal Government and are expected in the country before the end of the year”, he said.
Dr. Shaibu said 46 million persons have been fully vaccinated, representing 42% of the total eligible population targeted for the exercise.
He commended Nasarawa and Jigawa State governments for their efforts in ensuring take off of the accelerated COVID-19 vaccination exercise in their states.
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande said these were among the resolutions reached by the Council on Thursday at the end of its 128th meeting with Governors and other Federal Government officials in attendance virtually.
It said the meeting also had in attendance the new Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Oyebanji Abiodun.
Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu