Both the Federal Government and State governments would be working together to forge a common front in the nation’s bid for industrialisation.

This was one of the highlights at the National Economic Council meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, earlier today at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.

The Council had received a presentation on the work of the recently inaugurated Advisory Council that has top private sector and public sector officials, and industry chieftains as members. The Council is chaired by Prof. Osinbajo and has the mandate to identify key and practical areas where both public and private sectors can work together to significantly accelerate Nigeria’s industrial drive.

After the presentation was made to the Council, a committee of Governors from the nation’s six geo-political zones was formed to work with the Council in order to get the States actively involved in the national industrialisation effort by receiving and reviewing recommendations of the Council and fashioning out how best to implement them.

Highlights of the Meeting:

A. Presentation From The Nigeria Industrial Policy And Competitiveness Advisory Council (NIPCAC) By The Honourable Minister Of State, Industry, Trade and Investment

NIPCAC identifies obstacles to industrialization, recommend new measures.

The Honourable Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment made a presentation to the Council on the activities of the Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council (NIPCAC) thereafter referred to as the NIPCAC.

She informed the Council that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the establishment of NIPCAC in March 2017 as a vehicle for partnering with the private sector to drive Nigeria’s industrialization agenda.

Giving the Council an update on the work of NIPCAC, the Minister said NIPCAC has identified eight critical areas requiring urgent government intervention to move the country’s industrialization to the next level. These include:

-Improving broadband penetration nationwide.
-Resolving the nagging issue of multiple taxation.
-Facilitating access to land.
-Providing security to investments.
-Standardizing regulatory requirements.
-Facilitating interacted business linkages.
-Collaborating on project development and maintenance.
-Providing shared facilities.
-Informing the Council that the key role private sector plays in the telecom sector has committed to deploy an additional 18,000km of fibre cables nationwide over the next 12 – 18 months, the Minister prayed the Council to, among others, approve the following:
-Harmonization of Right of Way charges on State and Local Government highways with the Federal Government, which currently charges N145/m.
-Improve access to fibre installation across the States.
-Adopt the 2015 approved list of taxes and levels.
-Discontinue the use of unorthodox means of collection.
-Fast track automation of the entire tax administration and process to eliminate leakages and ensure ease of payment.
-Set up a single collection point for States and Local Government’s fees and levels.
-Develop a digitized land acquisition system.
-Establish a peer review Committee on industrialization ranking of all States of the Federation.

The Council decided that a Committee of Governors be set up to receive and review recommendations from the Advisory Council.

The Council also nominated 6 State Governors to be members of the Committee representing the 6 geopolitical zones to work with the NIPCAC in order to advance the course of national industrialization and competitiveness.

The States are Kaduna (N/W), Kwara (N/C), Ogun (S/W), Abia (S/E), Edo (S/S) and Adamawa (N/E). The Kaduna State Governor will chair the Committee.

B. Presentation On Flood Outlook And Current Flood Situation In The Country By The Director-General Of The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA)

The Director-General of NEMA briefed Council on the flood situation in Nigeria since the 2012 flood disaster in the country, disclosing that the FG has released N1.6 billion for flood relief, which will be used for intervention in the coming weeks in the affected states.

He told the Council that the 2012 flood affected over 7 million people, while 597,476 houses were destroyed/damaged and over 363 people killed. The total estimate of damages and losses was put at N2.6 trillion.

On the current flood situation in the country, the DG informed Council that 9 States have so far benefitted from relief interventions. They are Benue, Kebbi, Ekiti, Kogi, Edo, Ondo, Sokoto, Niger and Enugu.

Other States affected by the 2017 flood will receive relief materials in the coming weeks.

The DG appealed to all 36 States of the Federation and the 774 Local Government areas to establish functional State Emergency Management Agencies (SEMAs) and Local Council Emergency Management Committees (LEMEs) and provide professional training, adequate equipment, funding and early Warning Systems in order to combat future emergencies.

The Council noted that NEMA is a second respondent to disaster only when they are found to be well beyond the capacity of States and Local Governments to manage.

C. Presentation On Some Aspects Of The Nation’s Health Status By Honourable Minister Of Health

The Honourable Minister of Health presented a National Health Status report, informing Council as to where we are, where we want to be, and what can be done to take us where should be.

The Minister also dispelled rumours of Monkey Pox allegedly ravaging 7 States of the Federation.

He informed the Council that only Bayelsa State has 3 confirmed cases of Monkey Pox.

He told the Council that the Military is not involved in Vaccination in any State of the Federation and that any information to the contrary is false.

Addressing the Council, the face of Polio eradication campaign in Nigeria, His Eminence, told the Council that his presence in Council today implies total commitment by the traditional institution in Nigeria to the eradication of Polio in the country.

His Eminence was also accompanied by the Chief Executive Officer of Dangote Foundation and other Development Partners engaged in the fight against Polio and other related diseases such as Measles and Yellow Fever.

The Council particularly applauded His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Abubakar Sa’ad for his commitment to the eradication of Polio in the country.

The Council noted that Nigeria is making very good progress in Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization, but urged States to honour their counterpart funds so as to take immunization in the country to the next level.

D. An Update On Polio Eradication Initiatives And Strengthening Of Routine Immunization Presented By The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHDA)

Federal Government rolls out measles vaccination plans ahead of 2017/2018 dry season.

The Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) briefed the council on preparations for measles Vaccination ahead of the 2017/2018 dry season, the period normally associated with outbreaks of measles.

He informed the Council that the Campaign is to be conducted in two phases, with phase one taking care of all the 19 Northern States and the FCT as follows:

N/W 26th – 31st October, 2017 and 2nd – 7th November, 2017

N/E 30th November, – 5th December, 2017 and 7th December, – 12th December, 2017

N/C FCT 1st – 6th February, 2018 and 8th – 13th February, 2018.

Phase two will take care of 17 Southern States from 8th – 13th and 15th – 20th March, 2018.

The Executive Director also told Council that 12 States have already paid their counterpart funding for the exercise.

He listed the States to include; Bayelsa, Borno, Edo, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Osun, Sokoto and Zamfara.

24 states are yet to meet their obligation for the vaccination campaign.

He requested the Council to appeal to States who are yet to meet their obligations to act urgently to enable the campaign take off on schedule in all States of the Federation.

He also appealed to the Council to support:

a. Quarterly release of funds for routine immunization activities.

b. States to set up Emergency routine immunization Coordination Centres as a platform to coordinate and manage routine immunization activities.

c. Directly support and commit to the implementation of the 2017/2018 Measles Vaccination Campaign.

E. Update On Excess Crude Account And Budget Support Loan Facility

The Honourable Minister of Finance briefed the Council on the Excess Crude Account (ECA) and the Budget Support Loan Facility to States of the Federation.

She informed the Council that the balance in the Excess Crude Account as at 16th October, 2017 stands at $2,309,636,457.88 billion.

On the Budget Support Loan Facility, the HMF told the Council that there was no budget support loan facility for last month to any State, because the FAAC was in excess of N600 billion. It has been agreed that beyond that threshold there will be no budget support loan facility.

F. Update On Stabilization Fund Account And Natural Resources Development Fund

The Accountant General of the Federation briefed the Council on the current balances in the Stabilization Fund Account and the Natural Resources Development Fund.

He told Council that the balance in the Stabilization Fund Account as at 16th October, 2017 stands at N5,853,204,804.11 billion.

He also informed Council that the balance in the Natural Resources Development Account as at 16th October, 2017 stands at N93,114,896,509.12 billion.

Laolu Akande
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity
Office of the Vice President
19 October 2017