Sunday, June 23, 2019
/ 09.10PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV / Header Image Credit: yemiosinbajo.ng
Last Week President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the National Economic Council for the period 2019-2023, to be chaired by the Vice-President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
It has the 36 State Governors of the Federation and officials like the Central Bank Governor as members.
President Buhari in his remarks at the inauguration, harped on the need for the Federal and State Governments to deepen collaboration on security, education, health and agriculture, to make a difference in the lives of our people.
Here are some of the takeways from the 2019-2023 National Economic Council Team;
New Members of the NEC 2019-2023 Session
There are new members of the National Economic Council from the 36 States of the Federation, they include;
Adamawa-Alhaji Umaru Adamu Fintiri
Bauchi- Mr Bala Mohammed
Borno- Prof Babagana Zulum
Imo- Rt Hon. Emeka Ihedioha
Gombe- Mr Mohammed Inuwa Yahaya
Kwara- Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq
Lagos- Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Nasarawa- Mr Abdullahi Sule
Ogun- Mr Dapo Abiodun
Oyo- Mr Oluseyi Makinde
Yobe- Alhaji Mai Mala Buni
Zamfara- Dr Bello Mutawalle
Review of the 2015-2019 Session
The previous session of the National Economic Council held an unprecedented total of 38 meetings, setting up 10 Ad-Hoc Committees that address various issues of national concern.
The NEC also had 173 resolutions, covering the following areas; Agriculture and Solid Minerals, Investments Promotion and Industrialization, Monetary & Fiscal Stability, Infrastructure, Health and Education, Revenue Generation, Security and Support for States.
President Muhammadu Buhari charged the Governors in his speech to give as a top priority, the basic education of children that are of the school age.
According to President Buhari “Ensuring proper education during the first nine years of schooling means that our children start off their lives with some discipline and education. They will be safeguarded from roaming the streets, and protected from all the evil influences that assail idle hands and idle minds” .
Speaking further he stressed that “Whatever they choose to do thereafter, children with basic education will be better prepared to learn and to appreciate their own role in society. This will also go a long way in solving our security and other anti-social problems, which are often the manifestations of early delinquency. I therefore think every Governor here should make a firm commitment to be personally involved in ensuring that every child of school age actually goes to school throughout the crucial nine years of basic education”.
In the area of Healthcare, President Buhari stated “As I already indicated, public healthcare is also a major sector of concern where States and Local Governments have crucial roles to play. Health is an area where the neglect of one person quickly amounts to the neglect of many. It is in our collective interest that each and every citizen gets at least a minimal access to healthcare, including primary, preventive and emergency care”.
The President also noted that funding for the healthcare sector is a major challenge, he made a strong case for the universal health insurance to be taken seriously by the States.
He called on the Governors to work out measures that will assist the poorest and most vulnerable in the society, who cannot even afford to pay the premium for healthcare insurance.
President Buhari called on the Governors to increase budgetary allocation to the health sector and ensure prompt fund releases to keep the hospitals and primary healthcare centres in operation at all times.
On his part, he said the Federal Government is now implementing the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund, with the hope of achieving at least 65 percent increase in the share of the population covered by primary healthcare by 2023, up from the 12.6 percent covered at the moment.
President Buhari also charged the Governors on diversifying the economy, which will entails the sustenance and even acceleration of the agricultural revolution, which is already firmly rooted in some States.
He tasked the Governors to explore mechanized farming and the establishment of agro-allied industries.
The President called for more partnership between the public and private sector at the state level, and urged the Governors to view Agric as a very viable developmental enterprise.
In the area of security which is a major issue of concern, considering the spate of insurgency, kidnapping and even militancy across the country President Buhari enjoined the Governors to step up security in their respective states.
According to him “You can definitely make a difference, not just by assisting the security agencies in your respective States, but also by keenly pursuing policies and programmes that forestall communal, tribal, religious and societal conflicts; policies and programs that promote education, information, dispute resolution, vocational training and youth employment” .
IGR, VAT Collection and ICT
President Buhari also charged the Governors to explore innovative ways of increasing their Internally Generated Revenue and also expand the Value Added Tax collection.
He also believed the Governors should take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, by driving the Digitization process of government services and also creating an enabling environment for growth in communications technology.