Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The National Economic Council (NEC) thursday set up a sub-committee of the Nigeria Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council to assist the advisory body in fast-tracking industrialisation.
The committee, chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and made up of ministers and captains of industry, is saddled with the responsibility of driving the new phase of Nigeriaâ€™s industrialisation.
Briefing journalists at the end of thursdayâ€™s NEC meeting presided over by Osinbajo in Aso Rock, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Aisha Abubakar, said the council briefed NEC on the level of work it had done so far and sought its intervention in its resolution on key areas to fast-track industrialisation.
He said the decision resulted in the decision to set up the committee comprising six governors drawn from six geo-political zones of the country.
They are Kwara State Governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed (North-central), Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai (North-west), Adamawa State Governor, Bindowo Jubrilla (North-east), Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun (South-west), Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu (South-east) and Godwin Obaseki of Edo State (South-south).
Abubakar said the committee was set up because NEC acknowledged the critical roles of states in boosting industrialisation.
According to her, the sub-committee would monitor and report the implementation of the advisory councilâ€™s recommendations â€œto address the eight areas highlighted with particular emphasis on harmonisation of right of waysâ€™ charges between states and federal government and adoption of the 2015 approved list of taxes and levies.â€
The areas to be addressed by the sub-committee are: improving broadband penetration in the country; resolving multiple taxation; facilitating access to land and providing security for investments.
Others are: standardising regulatory requirements; facilitating integrated business linkages; collaborating on project development and maintenance, and providing shared facilities.
In his own briefing, Ikpeazu said the Sultan of Sokoto, Saaâ€™d Abubakar who was present in the meeting, told the council that traditional institutions in Nigeria were committed to polio eradication.
Ikpeazu added that NEC observed that Nigeria was making progress in polio eradication as well as routine immunisation and urged states to honour their counterpart funds commitment with a view to taking immunisation to the next level.
Obaseki, in his own briefing, said NEC was told that only 12 of the 36 states have already paid their counterpart funding for measles vaccination to be conducted in all states of the country beginning from North-west on October 26.
In a statement later last night, Osinbajoâ€™s media aide, Mr. Laolu Akande, said the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, told the Council that the balance in Excess Crude Account as at October 16, 2017 stood at $2.3 billion.
He said Idris also told the council that the balance in the Stabilisation Fund Account as at October 16, 2017 was N5.85 billion while the balance in the Natural Resources Development Account as at October 16, 2017 stood at N93.114 billion.
According to him, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, also told the council that there was no budget support loan facility for last month to any state because the balance in Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) was in excess of N600 billion as agreed.