Governors to be part of national economic sustainability plan implementation – Osinbajo

Some governors would soon join the Economic Sustainability Committee as the implementation of the plan proceeds, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said on Thursday.
Osinbajo said this at the virtual meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The governors had made a presentation at the NEC on how the state governments can collaborate effectively with the federal on the implementation of the recently approved N2.3 trillion stimulus programme.

The governors welcomed the plan and committed to working with the federal government.
The Vice President said two governors could join the committee for the implementation phase of the plan, saying such would be helpful in bringing synergy.

He said state governments would 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.

Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Governor Nasir El-rufai, of Kaduna state, who is also the Chairman of the NGF ad hoc committee on the collaborative implementation of the NESP, commended the Osinbajo-led ESC for a job well-done.
He said 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,” he said.Also speaking 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, chairman of committee and governor of Delta state, 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.”

Okowa said the major recommendation arising from the meeting is the proposed health workers allowance being planned by the Federal Ministry of Health.He said the hazard allowance should not be imposed on state governments but presented with general guidance to enable each state negotiate with its health workers based on its ability to pay.

He said the committee’s interim report presented to NEC recommends “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: Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance as at 7th July, 2020, $72,406,952; Stabilization Account Balance as at July 7, 2020, N40,310,991,995.15; and Natural Resources Development Fund Account Balance as at July 7, 2020, N131,598,414,041.89

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