As NEC Endorses Adeosun, FG Disburses N50 billion to States Under Budget Support Loan Facility
The National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday endorsed the work of the President Muhammadu Buhari's Economic Management Team and specifically commended the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun and the Budget and Planning and Finance Minister, Udo Udoma.
The NEC's endorsement of Adeosun and Udoma has made a mincemeat of an earlier call in the chambers of the Senate where the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, demanded the sack of the duo from Buhari's cabinet.
NEC also expressed support for the plans and proposals of the Federal Government to steer the country out of recession.
Rising on Thursday from its monthly meeting held at the Presidential Villa during which Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, SAN presided, the council acknowledged the current economic challenges and difficulties.
Members of the council also endorsed the work of the president’s Economic Management Team and specifically commended the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun and the Budget and Planning and Finance Minister, Udo Udoma.
The vice president is the Chairman of the council, which advises the president on economic affairs of the federation and in particular on measures necessary for the coordination of the economic planning in the country,
NEC is composed of governors of all 36 states of the federation, and the Central Bank Governor.
At the end of the meeting, the governors of Jigawa and Oyo States and the Deputy Governor, Atiku Bagudu, Abiola Ajimobi and Mrs Yetunde Onanuga briefed the press.
Bagudu who spoke first said Adeosun and Udoma briefed the council on the state of the economy.
According to him, the council was informed that the country is in recession and that the recession was caused by over dependency on oil and the fall in the price of the commodity.
He, however said council was told that the recession provided the country with an opportunity to restructure and reset the economy.
Bagudu said the council was also briefed on measures being introduced to resuscitate the economy.
He listed the measures as: plan to generate immediate larger injection of fund into the economy through: asset sales, advance payment of license renewals, Infrastructure concessioning, use of recovered funds etc to reduce funding gaps, implementation of Fiscal Stimulus/Budget Priorities, fast-track procedures through legislation and implementation of Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of the budget, meaningful diversification of the economy and cut down importation.
Bagudu said council members in response commended the Economic Management Team and generally welcomed the presentation and expressed support for the plan to steer the nation out of recession.
He said: "Under any other bussiness, council members expressed confidence in and unanimously commended the EMT and both the Budget and National Planning and Finance Ministers for the presentations to the council, praising their efforts, competence and capabilities."
Oyo State Governor said Draft Regulations on Land Use Act, 2013 was presented to the council by the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reform (PTCLR).
Ajimobi said the law, "seeks to make provisions to streamline mortgage transactions and clearly delineate the rights, duties and obligations of a mortgage."
He said the draft contained conditions for disposal of proceeds of sale and subsequent mortgages and implied terms of a mortgage, rights of redemption and remedies and issues on mortgage by companies and power of assignment by mortgage and right of transfer and application of insurance money by the receiver.
Ajimobi said the finance minister presented the council with Public Private Partnership (PPP) Initiatives on affordable housing.
Under the initiatives, Ajimobi said government would target N1billion fund to operate PPP (N500 billion initial) to create a blended pool of long term funds to intervene in housing development finance and mortgage provision.
According to him, the funds aim to deliver family housing priced from as low as N2.5 million up to N18 million delivered in a ready to occupy condition with essential services (water and power connected).
He said about 400,000 to 500,000 housing units would be delivered on yearly basis under the scheme.
He said: "The ultimate aim of the programme is to channel funds from savers to borrowers, so that builders have the required capital to construct and prospective buyers can access credit to purchase.
"The fund will attract low cost local and international capital, including from domestic pension and insurance funds, FG funding, as well as contributions from State Governments and other agencies."
The governor said states had roles to play in the implementation of the new housing schemes. States, he said would designate a liaison with whom Family Homes Fund could interface.
They are also expected to expedite building plan approval process and security of land title and also invest in enabling infrastructure.
The Ogun State Deputy Governor said Adeosun reported to council that the balance in Excess Crude Account was USD 2.453 billion as at September 20, 2016.
Onanuga said the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele presented to the council the best options for managing floating forex policy introduced the apex bank.
Under the policy, she said CBN introduced cautious monetary policy orientation as dictated by consumer price and exchange rate.
She said the CBN would also adopt policy tightening measures for flexible forex rate to address persistent pressures occasioned by scarcity and speculative demands.
She said: "The presentation also noted that controlling inflation is key to stabilising other macroeconomic indices and the current stance of monetary policy is expected to continue to help lock-in inflation expectations."
The Ogun State Deputy Governor said the finance minister reported to council that N50 billion had so far been disbursed to state governments, and the facility was ongoing under the Budget Support Loan Facility.