Nigeria’s Troubled Economy: What Osinbajo, governors discussed at NEC meeting

Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo with State Governors at the NEC meeting
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo with State Governors at the NEC meeting

A meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) held Thursday in Abuja with members discussing measures they said are planned to take the country out of recession.

NEC is composed of all the 36 state governors, the minister of the Federal Capital Territory and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. Thursday’s meeting, the first this year, was presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

“(The) Minister of Budget and National Planning assured the Council members that Federal Government has a recovery plan that will take Nigeria out of the woods,” Laolu Akande, the spokesperson for Acting President Osinbajo, said in a statement at the end of the meeting.

Mr. Akande also quoted the Finance Minister, Kemi Adeosun, who briefed the Council, as announcing the hiring of eight accounting firms to audit the monthly Budget Support Facility to states, a verification process she said would ensure benefiting state governments comply with the mutually agreed Fiscal Sustainability Plan prescribed by NEC.

Below are highlights of the NEC meeting.

NEC (1ST in 2017) 74TH NEC MEETING – THURSDAY, 16TH FEBRUARY, 2016

A.     INAUGURATION OF THE NATIONAL ROAD SAFETY ADVISORY COUNCIL BY HIS EXCELLENCY ACTING  PRESIDENT

• Budget and National Planning Minister made a presentation to the Council on the National Road Safety Strategy (NRSS) 2014 – 2018 document before the inauguration.

• He said the NRSS document was approved by FEC and has provided for the establishment of the Advisory Council, as a demonstration of Government’s commitment to address the challenges of road safety in the country in line with UN Agenda to reduce road accident related deaths.

• Members of the 24-man Advisory Council include the following:

• Six Governors representing each geopolitical zone as follows:

• South-West            –       Governor of Lagos State

• South-East             –      Governor of Anambra State

• South-South           –       Governor of Delta State

• North-West            –       Governor of Kaduna

• North East             –       Governor of Gombe

• North-Central         –       Governor of Kwara State

Others include:

• Honourable Minister of Transport

• Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing

• Honourable Minister of Education

• Honourable Minister of Health

• Honourable Minister of Environment

• Honourable Minister of Finance

• Honourable Minister of Justice

• Honourable Minister of Labour and Productivity

• Honourable Minister of Interior

• Honourable Minister FCT

• Honourable Minister of Information and Culture

• Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning

• National Security Adviser (NSA)

• Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF)

• President NACCIMA

• President Nigeria Society of Engineering (NSE)

• FRSC Corp Marshall

B.     PRESENTATION BY MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE

• Council was informed of the massive wheat production in the States of Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi and Zamfara among others.

• The States however appealed to the Federal Government to make plans for the purchase of excess wheat to ensure price stability and sustainable production.

• Council agreed to discuss and make adequate buy-back arrangements in order to support price stability.

C.     REPORT ON EXCESS CRUDE PROCEEDS BY THE FINANCE MINISTER

• Minister of Finance reported to the Council that the balance in Excess Crude Account (ECA) stood at USD 2,458,382,844.03 as at February 15, 2017

D.     UPDATE ON BUDGET SUPPORT LOAN FACILITY

• Minister of Finance also reported that Eight Accounting Firms have been appointed to start the verification process of the monthly Budget Support Loan Facility to States, based on the approved Fiscal Sustainability Plan of NEC.

E.     ON ECONOMIC RECOVERY PLAN

• Minister of Budget and National Planning assured the Council members that Federal Government has a recovery plan that will take Nigeria out of the woods.

• Consultations on the plan are ongoing to firm-up the plan with clear roles for all the stakeholders and the States.

• He told the Council that the plan addresses the following:

  • Agriculture and food security
  • Energy sufficiency-power and petroleum availability
  • Improving transportation infrastructure
  • Industrialization, SMEs, and manufacturing
  • Stabilization of the macro-economic environment

F.     ON THE EXCHANGE RATE

• After a brief presentation on Forex Policy options by the CBN Governor, Council members generally expressed concern over the current situation of the exchange rate and called for an urgent review of the current Forex Policy, especially the gap between interbank and the parallel market rates.  The CBN Governor sued for patience and understanding, assuring that the situation is being closely managed.

G.     UPDATE ON THE BOARD APPOINTMENTS INTO THE NIGERIA SOVEREIGN INVESTMENT AUTHORITY (NSIA)

• Minister of Finance reported that a member each from the six geo-political zone has been nominated as follows:

  • North-East – Mrs. Halima Buba
  • North West – Mr. Bello Maccido
  • North Central – Ms. Lois Laraba Machunga-Disu
  • South West – Mr. Babajide Zetilin
  • South East – Mr. Urum Kalu Eze
  • South-South – Mr. Abue Ighodalo

• Council members unanimously adopted the nominations and forwarded them to the President for his final approval.

H.     ANNUAL REPORT AND ACCOUNTS OF THE NIGERIA SOVEREIGN INVESTMENT AUTHORITY (NSIA) BY THE MD/CEO OF NSIA

• Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Uche Orji presented a report to Council on the NSIA annual reports and accounts for the year ended 2015 and update on 2016 activities.

• In its report to NEC, Council members were informed that Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Fund (NSWF) has the highest ranking in Africa in terms of performance and capitalization.

• The report highlights, among others, the following:

• Financial performance 2014 to Q3 2016

• Update and investment strategy on the NSIA Future Generation Fund (FGF)

• NSIA Infrastructure strategy and Agriculture Fund

• NSIA – Old Mutual Real Estate Co-Investment Vehicle, among others.

• NSIA outlook, among others, are as follows:

• NSIA plans to increase domestic infrastructure investment in 2017 as there are compelling opportunities in the environment.

• NSIA will also focus on “Social Infrastructure” including investments in the form of affordable housing, and healthcare through the development of specialist hospitals.

• Council, while adopting the report of the NSIA,  decided to inject a fresh $250 million into the SWF sourced from the ECA.

I.    VALEDICTORY SESSION FOR ONDO STATE GOVERNOR

• Council held a valedictory session for the Ondo State Governor Dr. Olusegun Mimiko who was attending the meeting for the last time as his tenure expires this month.

• Council members commended Dr. Mimiko’s contributions to the Council and commended him for facilitating a smooth transition in the State. In his response, the out-going Governor praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his leadership of the nation, the Vice President as chairman of the Council for his “productive leadership and personal commitment,” and the Council members for an enjoyable relationship and quality of debate.

• Both Mimiko and the Ondo State Governor-elect who was also in attendance today in observer status hugged each other to the delight of the Council, attracting a huge round of applause.


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  • Daniel

    They always have a plan,yet cannot implement one. What time is it?

    I guess they will fulfill all promises in 2019.

  • dami

    What is the Forex plan? No details…only ambiguous statements – it is being monitored closely…what exactly is the action plan? True devaluation?
    On the flip side if the currency is truly devalued again fuel prices will go up and by extension food prices and the cost of living generally – I hope the governors understand this.

    • Yak Ohiose

      How can block heads provide action plan? Lets be frank, if you gave Mohammed Buhari a pen and paper and asked him to write “Action Plan” on paper, do you really think Buhari would be able to write down those words?

      • dami

        blockhead is better than a thief…

      • Tola

        Blockheads, Mumu, etc etc. We have heard all these about our leaders. It is for you also to provide policy options so that we know who actually understand the issues at stake or those writing out of ignorance, malice or both. Our FX situation is in crisis mode as the FX reserve is barely enough to cover 4 months of import. Unfortunately the profile of imports is hopelessly in favour of consumer items rather than capital/industrial inputs that can help build internal capacity. So if you devalue and liberalize there will be crisis at the pump; DISCOs may not be able to pay for electricity generated and factory inputs may be shut out against consumer goods, and nobody can guarantee inflow of FDIs since they also look at other parameters. The CBN is now left with managed liberalization where fuel imports and factory inputs take precedence over consumer items. At the same time they will gradually grow the FX reserve while emphasis on agriculture and other import substituting inputs reduces our humongous import bill. This will take time unless there is dramatic upswing in crude price. I guess in the interval, mediocres like Fayose and his audience with Lilliputian minds will still continue to call policy makers (whoever is there) blockheads, mumus, braindead etc. For perceptible minds, however, the joke is actually on them.

  • westman

    They keep planning

  • Angry-Nigerian

    The problem is not with the economy but with the set of crooked hediorts who run the economy and the laughable misfit (Buhari) who heads the team. Many of these men, if not all, have got advanced degrees in fraud, mismanagement, stealing, lying, corruption etc, should have no business in governance. How could a man not smart enough to pass basic and ordinary secondary school exams head a country? How? Who really expected that Buhari would have a direction and make progress? It is like making a brainless, dumb, daft, sick and miserably senile individual the MD of a multi – billion Naira company. Won’t the company go bankrupt? And when we post comments like this, media houses like PT & Co release our computer IDs to hackers and EFCC so they can trouble our lives. But who cares?

    The ideal thing for all these men and women to do is to RESIGN and get out of public service so that Nigerians can have their country and lives back. And in the midst of this the useless politicians almost on a daily basis are spending scare foreign exchange on trips to London in a sort of Meca pilgrimage to have a photo shoot with a sick Buhari

    • Dazmillion

      I fear that Buhari and his cohorts will not agree with you

      • Econometrist

        @Dazmillion:disqus

        Nigeria is falling into an irretrievable rot and will soon become ungovernable
        territory. The people in the country don’t agree any basic ethic. Nigerians do
        not agree that stealing is wrong. That cultural fault sounding in psychiatric
        illness undid the country and seeped into national culture. And that culture
        then insidiously intersects with economics the result is the very devastating
        economic recession of Nigeria now in free fall. As thefts override production,
        distribution and consumption of public goods and services, economic growth
        falters and fails; and as Nigeria fails, the national currency becomes less a
        store of value and slides down in precipitate depreciation against convertible
        currencies overseas. President Buhari and his idle Ministers can’t relevantly
        stand in the gap as a possible solution, if they too don’t know better.

    • Progress.B4.Politics

      “brainless, dumb, daft, sick and miserably senile individual” This is really you ^^^^ right?

      On the topic: The fastest proven way of getting out of recession is by spending your way out of recession. America got out of recession in the 1930s by spending billions in construction of major highways and other infrastructure, the combined multiplier effect got them out of recession in time before the war. Obama equally spent more than $750b to get their economy out of their recent recession. The NEC or FG in liaison with the national assembly should as a matter of urgency find the $$$$ billions to spend in the Nigerian economy to lift her out of recession.

  • Angry-Nigerian

    If Nigeria were a company, the board will be dissolved and taken over by a new management to save the company. This is exactly what we need. These confused men and women from M.Buhari, to the last thief of the roll call, should resign. If they fail to, Nigerians should stone them to death. They have failed us. How can politicians tell Nigerians to pray for a President who refused to equip hospitals in Nigeria but go to UK to seek treatment in a hospital equipped by another government?

  • International games

    Value? What do we do that is of value to anyone? If you know, tell Osibanjo. That is how Money gets value.

  • Rommel

    The BBC just described Nigerians as a people who relish in conspicuous consumption yet import almost everything,how can Nigerians continue to blame government when our only foreign exchange earner needed to finance the importations is hydrocarbons whose price is nowhere near half of what it was under president Jonathan,would any sensible person expect the father christmas days of Dumbo to continue? Nigeria has at least 150 million unproductive consumers

    • Izon REDEEMER

      U are a sick brainless Ibo man———————-Lagos state now has oil–same goes for Borno state—–So what are we waiting for—–to enable us go our separate ways—?——–‘ Again was Jonathan the president of Nigerian over 30 Years ago when Bingo Buhari messed up the economy—–with his queue culture for what he described as essential commodities—–? The same way Nigeria are dying while waiting for their monthly wages owed them for over 1yr now–?——Under Jonathan crude oil went down to 49-per barrel-Naira exchanged for 150 to a dollar——Now nko—-500 to a dollar———-Tomorrow senior he goats like u from the south east— will come here to sing by aburi we stand in Biafra—————————Jonathan depended on earning s from agric to move Nigeria forward—not crude oil—-sales ——————animals

  • BURNING SPEAR

    Buhari’s Government of Propaganda and No Substance. In it he mentioned the nine media assistants to the President before dropping the bombshell that took everybody by surprise: “In addition”, Professor Kperogi revealed, “the President has about 40 paid journalists, bloggers, media analysts, commentators (whose names I have but will leave out for now), working under the BMC (Buhari Media Center) in Utako, Abuja. The Buhari Media Centre is a well-furnished one-storey building with expansive premises. It has security guards, clerks, and cashiers. The team members are paid a monthly allowance of between N200,000 and N250,000.”

    It is not the presence of the media centre that is the problem. As a President, Buhari has come a long way, far from the pristine days of TBO when we only relied on our columns in newspapers to write features on his project, something that led to our sack by the Trust after the 2003 elections. The problem is that while in those days we never wrote anything with the intention to smear anyone or lie about the achievement of Buhari, the Buhari Media Centre, to my shock and as Professor Kperogi reported, has a totally different mandate. Hear him:

    “They are mandated to react to all media contents critical of the President, write favorable news items for the president, and attack/demonize/smear people critical of the president. They also work with government agencies such as the EFCC to push narratives to deflect attention from the ineptitude of the government. They work behind the scenes and use pen names in extended articles, and pseudonyms on social media. Almost all the members of the APC Presidential Campaign Media Directorate operate from the Buhari Media Centre, with the exception of those with appointments. And this excludes Lai Mohammad’s well-oiled lie squad.”

  • Artful ºDodger

    Nigeria is not yet ready to deal with the forex exchange rate irregularities. No country allows a bunch of rag tags Nigeria call her bureau de changes to manipulate her currency values with unscrupulous and corrrupt politicians. Ban all BDC, mandate everyone to buy and sell only from banks and ensure every bank have forex counters in the branches. Every forex dealings must be done on the official exchange rates and any breach should be met with a very severe punishment.
    Take sentiments out of it and act. Nigerians do not have any dignity to expect them to do anything right without the horse whip no matter how bitter the truth may be for you to hear.
    BAN ALL THE BUREAU DE CHANGES!!

  • Tommy Soto

    Again…

    Sack the under performing governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. He is a GEJ holdout from the last corrupt looter administration that is clandestinely working on 2019 strategy for the kleptomaniacs. Badluck put him in there and Buhari/Osinbajo should remove him immediately.

    • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

      The reason they can’t sack him is because he has absorbed many of the children and relatives of the “big men” into CBN – including Buhari’s nephew.

      • El Patron

        Since when has that been a reason not to sack someone? Buhari should immediately send his name to the senate for immediate sack