Buhari Inaugurates NEC, Restates Commitment To His Inaugural Speech Promises
BEVERLY HILLS, June 29 (THEWILL) – Exactly a month after he was formally inaugurated as President following his victory at the polls, President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja inaugurated the National Economic Council (NEC) for his Administration as he restated his commitment to fulfilling the promises made in his inaugural speech on May 29.
The National Economic Council was established by the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999), as amended, Third Schedule, Part I, Section 153: Sub section (18 & 19). The NEC, as one of the Federal Executive bodies.
It has the mandate to advise the President concerning the economic affairs of the Federation, and in particular on measures necessary for the co-ordination of the economic planning and programmes of the various Governments of the Federation.
Speaking at the occasion, Buhari said the National Economic Council has remained the official economic platform for dialogue among the 36 State Governors, the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and other co-opted members, chaired by the Vice President, where issues and challenges facing the development of the country, at national and sub-national levels, are discussed with a view to develop and harmonise common strategies for addressing them.
Buhari also restated the primary objective of his Administration to tackle insecurity; youth unemployment, through the revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining, as well as small and medium size businesses. He also recalled highlighted in his inaugural address on May 29 pervasive corruption; fuel and power shortages; public service reforms; and the need to allow every tier of Government to exercise its constitutional responsibilities, among others.
“ We are fully committed to embarking on sustainable visionary initiatives and programmes that will restructure and transform our national economy. We are also committed to ensuring collaboration and facilitation of the International efforts to combat threats of cross-border terrorism, sea piracy, refugees, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), financial crimes, cyber crimes, climate change; the spread of communicable diseases and other challenges of the 21st century,” he added.
He however urged all Nigerians to ensure that the enormous challenges facing the country are surmounted by working to support economic policies, which he said the government will soon unveil to grow the economy and finance the country's external promises.
While noting that the Council meetings have, over the years, been very constructive and productive, and the key outcomes as well as recommendations translated into Government policies at the Federal and state levels, he acknowledged that this has not only facilitated national economic planning, but also led to over- all political harmony.
“It is also reassuring to note that steps have been taken in the past to strengthen the effectiveness of the Council in its role as prime adviser on developments in the economy. This process must be geared up substantially especially in the difficult times that we have now found ourselves. The National Planning Commission must continue to work to arrive at workable consensus on Government policies among the various tiers of Government, which is a prerequisite for sustained growth and development,” he said.
According to Buhari, “ it is evident that the task of ensuring growth, job creation and equity, is quite enormous. Consequently, we must kick-start this process by cultivating a culture of prudent management of resources at all levels of Government. This will entail looking inwards to secure sustainable ways of increasing Internally Generated Revenue (IGR); and harnessing growth potentials of each State to supplement the Federation Account allocation to States.
“The States are also encouraged to embark on projects that will meet immediate needs of the people taking account of available resources. I therefore urge Council members to consider, as a matter of urgency, exploring efficient means of gradually liquidating all unpaid salaries of staff, which have brought untold hardship to thousands of families.
“ I would like also, as a former Governor myself to remind us the need for neighbouring states to cooperate closely on projects such as interstate and feeder roads, soil erosion, desertification and other developmental programmes. Our country is one and we who have the responsibility to run it lead by example. As far as is possible there should be distance between politics and development programmes.
“ On its part the Federal Government will abide by the provisions of Sections 80 and 162 of the Constitution and ensure more accountability, transparency and integrity in the Distribution of the Federation Account. All Revenue Generating Agencies such as Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) amongst others shall comply with stipulated Financial Regulations and Administrative Instructions in their remittances into the Consolidated Revenue Fund.”
On Insurgency, Buhari said the Nigerian Armed Forces have shown renewed commitment and made steady progress in the fight against Boko Haram.
According to him, Nigeria, under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the Republic of Benin is collaborating with the Republics of Niger, Chad, Cameroun and Benin to consolidate cross-border and international efforts at eradicating the insurgency.
He disclosed that following his invitation to Germany early this month, the G7 Nations who have shown concern about the Insurgency promised to intervene to restore the destroyed infrastructure, schools and hospitals amongst others,
“I have directed the front line states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa to articulate realistic assessments, costs, locations on Local Government by-Local-Government of affected facilities for submission to the President of the G7 for further verification. In addition, the requirements of the Military have been prepared by the Service Chiefs for the consideration of the G7 Nations,” he disclosed.