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NEC: We Must Develop Our Agric Sector To Self-sufficiency, VP Shettima Tells Governors

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The Vice President, Sen. Kashim Shettima, has implored Governors of the 36 states of the federation to work towards revamping Nigeria’s agricultural sector, with a view to reducing dependence on food imports and attaining greater food self-sufficiency.

This, he noted, resonates well with the investments and commitment of the African Development Bank (AfDB) to establishing Specialised Agro Processing Zones (SAPZ) in the country.

Sen. Shettima gave the charge on Thursday during the 137th meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Vice President is the Chairman of NEC, a statutory body that has the mandate to advise the President on the nation’s economic affairs, with the Governors of the 36 states of the federation, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Minister of Finance and other stakeholders as members.

The Vice President also hinted about the possibility of engaging the private sector in tackling floods and other natural disasters, saying considering the financial implications of managing natural disasters, the government cannot do it alone.

Recalling that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had recently highlighted eight presidential priorities for his administration, which serve as a conduit to his Renewed Hope Agenda, Shettima told the governors and other members of Council to get “involved in seeking both short-term palliative and enduring solutions to the consequences of our reforms.”

Meanwhile, other highlights of the meeting are as follows:

Update on ECA

  1. Excess crude account (ECA) as at September,
    $473,754.57
  2. Stabilization as at September,2023

37,597,965,211.43

  1. Current Balance of Natural Resources

144,683,136,928.25.

While the state budget support facility cumulatively stood at N1.718, 705,566,436,25 trillion naira.

The National Economic Council NEC also adopted the report of the Committee on flood mitigation, adaptation, preparedness and response.

The committee when constituted was charged with the critical task of developing comprehensive roadmap for Flood Mitigation, Adaptation, Preparedness and Response in Nigeria.

Briefing State House Correspondents after the NEC meeting today, at the Presidential Villa, Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello said the report contains roadmap guided by insights from the National Economic Council on Flood and reviews of two foundational reports.

Amongst other recommendations presented by the committee to the NEC include the establishment of national flood management council to be domiciled in the office of the vice president.

The Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed disclosed that the council resolved that the present administration has planned to establish a compact between stakeholders in the country and international partners as a way of reiterating commitment to the development of the health sector and a means of charting the way forward on how to resolve the challenge of brain drain in the sector.

For his part, the Minister of Budget and National planning, Abubakar Bagudu, revealed that the council is considering keying into Natural Catastrophe Insurance, that can be utilized to protect against natural catastrophes like flooding, and other disasters in the country.

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