Nigerian Governors seek to take over, manage federal roads

At a National Economic Council meeting dominated by presentations and discussions on how Nigeria can significantly improve and drive its non-oil exports, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo directed the composition of a National Committee on Export Promotion to review several ideas and suggestions tabled at Thursday’s meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja.
Speaking at the NEC, composed of State Governors, FCT Minister and the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Osinbajo, who chairs the council, expressed delight at “the robust discussions we have had today, and the many useful suggestions made,” adding that both the Federal and State governments would work together to promote non-oil Nigerian exports.
“Whatever the FG is required to do, will we do and States should also take ownership,” the VP stated, noting that both government levels must sit together, work together and assist each other.
He announced a Committee of NEC consisting of three State Governors: Jigawa, Lagos and Ebonyi and the federal ministers from Industry, Trade & Investment, Agriculture & Rural Development, Power, Works & Housing, Transportation and Finance.
Other members of the Export Promotion Committee of NEC are the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, NEPC, Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority, NEPZA, NEXIM Bank, and the CBN. Jigawa State Governor Alhaji Mohammed B. Abubakar is the Chairman, and Industry, Trade & Investment Minister, Dr. Okey Enelamah is Co-Chair.
The Committee which is expected to submit an initial report by November is expected to come up with a concise action plan on how to drive non-oil exports based on the presentations and discussions of Council at today’s meeting.

HIGHLIGHTS OF TODAY’S NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL MEETING

PRESENTATION ON SPECIAL ACCOUNTS

· The Minister of Finance made presentations to Council on the status of the Special Accounts of the Federation. She told Council that the current balances in the Special Accounts of the Federation are as follows:
(i) Stabilization Account Balance as at 26th September, 2017 stand at N4,354,300,295.64
(ii) Development of Natural Resources Account Balance as at 26th September, 2017 stands at N84,693,588,214.54
(iii) Excess Crude Account balance as at 22nd September, 2017 stands at $2,309,577,899.02
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BUDGET SUPPORT TO STATES
· With the N630 billion figure available for FAAC this month, exceeding the N600 billion threshold, Council was informed that the Budget Support Facility will be unnecessary this month. Council also urged for the continued compliance with the Fiscal Sustainability Plan by the States for continued eligibility for the Federal Government Support Loan Facility. 8 States of the Federation met the Fiscal Sustainability Plan criteria in July and therefore received the Budget Support for that month. About 22 other States are in the process of meeting the criteria.

NEW NEC SECRETARY INTRODUCED
· The MBNP informed Council that a new Secretary to the National Economic Council, Leon L. Aliboh, has resumed duty following the retirement from 35 years of service by the former Secretary to Council, Nana Fatima Mede.
· Mr. Aliboh is Secretary to Council by virtue of his new position as Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.

TAKEOVER OF SOME ROADS BY STATES
· Council also resolved that interested States could write to the President requesting approval for States to take over some of the Federal Roads to ensure proper and efficient maintenance. NEC also expressed willingness to take a holistic approach on the issue of such roads across the country.

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