The National Economic Council (NEC) has said that two state governors will be included in the implementation phase of National Economic Sustainability Plan (NESP).
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said this on Thursday after the governors had made a presentation at a virtual NEC meeting on how the States can collaborate effectively with the Federal Government on the implementation of the recently approved N2.3 trillion stimulus programme.
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Osinbajo, who chaired the NEC meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the incorporation of governors would assist by bringing synergy.
He said state governments will also be actively involved in the process of executing projects in the plan, especially such projects based in the domains of respective States, in collaboration with other stakeholders and partners.
The Governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-rufai, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) adhoc committee on the collaborative implementation of the NESP, briefed journalists at the end of the meeting.
El-rufai, who lauded the Osinbajo-led ESC for a job well-done, said that State governors were committed to the successful implementation of the plan.
“In agriculture, each state is to make available 20 hectares of land for cultivation and with the contribution of lands from States, he added that governors will appreciate land clearance as an incentive.
“In Mass housing, NEC welcomes the plan to build 300,000 housing units across the country with an average of ten thousand homes per State,” El-rufai noted while also calling for a nationwide mortgage system to support the plan,” he said in a statement issued by spokesman to the vice president, Laolu Akande.
Also briefing journalists on the recommendations of the interim report of the NEC adhoc committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to ease the lockdown, the Committee Chairman and Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa said “the committee recommended that the Honorable Minister of Health should ensure the continuous provision of all essential health services in-order to ensure that people do not die from other diseases needlessly”.
According to the report presented by the governor to council, “the Presidential Task Force (PTF) should provide the operating guidelines to the States to enable them domesticate same given their peculiarities, norms and traditions, especially in opening of markets, religious places and schools etc.
Okowa said the major recommendation arising from the meeting was the proposed health workers allowance being planned by the Federal Ministry of Health.
He said the ‘Hazard’ allowance should not be imposed on States but presented with general guidance to enable each State negotiates with its health workers based on its ability to pay.
He added that the Committee’s interim report presented to NEC recommends “that there should be rapid testing, tracing, isolation and treatment, and the NCDC and PTF should provide each State with laboratory testing facilities and ensure effective sample collection”.
Other highlights of the meeting include the presentation of the 2021 to 2023 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) by the Federal Ministry of Finance, State Budget and National Planning.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed also reported to council that the balances in the under listed accounts as at July 7, 2020 were $ 72,406,952.48 for Excess Crude Account (ECA); N40, 310,991,995.15 for Stabilization Account; and N131, 598,414,041.89 for Natural Resources Development Fund Account.