By ‘Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Office of the Vice President.
*FG will not impose on State Governments, VP Osinbajo says
*Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programmes reach over 7 million Nigerians
In line with the administration’s commitment towards finding permanent solutions to the herdsmen-farmers clashes in some parts of the country, President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the formation of a new Committee to look into the rebuilding of communities affected by the violence in the affected states.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, announced the approval today at the monthly meeting of the National Economic Council, of which he is chairman.
The Committee, which would be headed by the Vice President, will also find ways of providing welfare and other needed facilities in these communities.
“The President has asked me to head the committee,” Prof. Osinbajo announced to the State governors, who constitute membership of NEC, alongside the CBN Governor.
Similarly, the Council was briefed on the activities of the NEC Working Group.
The Working Group was set up at the last NEC meeting in accordance with the President’s commitment to bring all perpetrators of violence to book.
Since then, the Group has met twice and formed a technical Sub-Committee, headed by Ebonyi State Governor, which has been given the assignment of consultations with some of the affected communities.
The Vice President noted that the Federal Government will not impose on State Governments, but would share templates on best practices for the conduct of livestock production and business.
Some of the recommendations of the Working Group include the need for joint Military-Police Operation to manage violent outbreak where required while also calling for more efficient intelligence gathering.
Similarly, the Working Group called for the use of the Military force to flush out bandits whose activities have been linked to the clashes, and also for active engagement with traditional leaders to foster peace in their communities.
It further recommended the training of an Agro Rangers Corps to provide security around ranches, livestock production centres and grazing routes.
The Council was also briefed by the Special Adviser to the President on the Social Investment Programme (SIP), Mrs Maryam Uwais. She noted that, so far, a total of 7,812,201 Nigerians have directly benefitted from all the programmes under the Buhari administration’s National SIP, while 1,500,000, mainly farmers and cooks, are secondary beneficiaries.
Below are the highlights of the second NEC meeting in the year 2018:
NEC (2ND IN 2018) 85TH NEC MEETING –
THURSDAY, 15TH FEBRUARY, 2018
A. FINAL REPORT ON FORENSIC AUDIT OF REVENUE ACCRUED FROM REVENUE GENERATING AGENCIES
· Council received the final report on the Forensic Audit of Revenue Accrued from Revenue Generating Agencies (RGAs) into Federation Account (FA), Excess Crude Account (ECA) and Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF).
· The report was prepared by KPMG, and audited 18 Agencies including NNPC, FIRS, Nigeria Customs Services (NCS), NIMASA, NPA, NCC, CBN, DPR, NPDC and many others.
· The report covered period January 2010 – June, 2015
Key Issues and Recommendations:
· The report observed several cases of under-remittance and a few over remittance in some cases both by identified agencies. There were also late remittances into the various accounts. It therefore recommended that:
· NEC should decide on repayment plans for all concerned as well as stepping up oversight function on the relevant agencies to ensure remittance as and at when due.
· Recommended the proper and regular auditing of the accounts of the RGAs and those of the FG.
· There is also the need for annual review of the agencies.
· Council received the report and resolved that the Ad-hoc NEC Committee on the matter be expanded to include a lawyer and an accountant. The Committee would study the KPMG report and the recommendations and report back to Council at its next sitting for possible adoption.
· The Federal Government officials including the CBN Governor, the Ministers of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Minister of State, Petroleum Resources would join the expanding Committee to also take a look at the report for FG’s review.
B. UPDATE ON THE SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMME BY THE SPECIAL ADVISER TO THE PRESIDENT ON THE SOCIAL INVESTMENT PROGRAMME
The Special Adviser to the President on the Social Investment Programme (SIP), briefed the Council on the impact of the National Social Investment Programme (N-SIP). Highlights of the presentation include:
· Total Direct Beneficiaries from all the SIP Programme is 7,812,201
· Secondary Beneficiaries – 1,500,000, mainly farmers and cooks
· Total actual spending in 2016 and 2017 = 15.58% of the budget
The Council was further briefed on the general challenges facing the smooth delivery of the N-SIP. They include:
· Corrupt practices in the States – (short-changing, racketeering and harassment of beneficiaries)
· Exploitation of the vulnerable (due to poor levels of literacy);
· Monitoring and communication (insufficient awareness/publicity) and logistics for monitoring yet to be secured.
Steps to Overcome Obstacles
· N-SIPs is collaborating with various Organisations within and outside the Government to overcome the challenges in the areas of; Monitoring and Security, Sensitization, Communication.
Support/Intervention from State Governments
· The N-SIPs requires State Government support as follows:
Micro-Credit scheme under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP)
– States to support in fraud detection and prevention by local officials.
– States to support the GEEP loan programme mobilization and facilitate the generation of BVN and the opening of accounts.
– Loan recovery from beneficiaries.
Home Grown School Feeding Programme
– States to fast-track commencement of programme by signing MoU.
– Re-train and re-screen cooks.
– Strengthen Monitoring and Evaluation.
National Social Safety Net
– States need to demonstrate commitment for the programme to kick off.
– Ensure a conducive working environment and commitment to an objective and transparent community-Based Targeting Process.
– Support in form of security and fraud detection.
Cash Transfer Programme
– States to provide furnished accommodation and logistics as agreed.
– Provide security, caution politicians and fast-track Community Based Targeting.
Youth Employment and Empowerment Programme
– States to support communication efforts where necessary.
– Support monitoring efforts to ensure beneficiaries are resuming and working full time at assigned locations.
– Show increasing better commitment to the programme.
C. INTERIM BRIEFING ON NEC’S WORKING GROUP ON HERDSMEN/FARMERS CLASHES
· The Vice President reported that the Group has met twice and formed a technical Sub-Committee. The Sub-Committee has been given the assignment of consultations with some of the affected communities.
· The Sub-Committee is chaired by Ebonyi State Governor and the NEC Working Group will give a fuller report at the end of the work of the Sub-Committee.
· The Vice President also reported that the Working Group has noted the need for joint Military-Police Operation to manage violent outbreak where required while also calling for more efficient intelligence gathering.
· The Working Group also calls for the use of the Military force to flush out bandits whose activities have been linked to the clashes, and engagement with traditional leaders to foster peace in their communities.
· Working Group also noted that an Agro Rangers Corps should be trained to provide security around ranches, livestock production centres and grazing routes.
· The Working Group also noted that the land use laws and regulations invest the States with the power over land titles and use while the Vice President added that the FG will not impose on State Governments. FG will only share templates on best practices for the conduct of livestock production and business.
· The Vice President also informed that the President has approved the formation of a Committee to look into the issue of rebuilding affected communities and providing welfare and other facilities as may be considered appropriated.
· The President has asked that the Vice President head the Committee.
D. PRESENTATION BY GMD, NNPC ON PMS SUPPLY ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND COST OF UNDER-RECOVERIES BORNE BY NNPC
· The Group Managing Director, NNPC, briefed the Council on the PMS supply and cost of under-recoveries arising from difference between importation cost and PPPRA cut off market price.
· He told Council that the PMS open market price is continuously shaped by crude oil price volatility in the international market with the attendant cost under-recoveries due to differential between actual supply and distribution.
· He informed that favourable market conditions encouraged private participation by Independent Marketers in Nigeria between May – September 2016.
· There is currently sudden decline in private participation in Nigeria due to decline in favourable market conditions and also the sudden shock in consumption which over stretches daily supply of petroleum products.
E. REPORT ON EXCESS CRUDE ACCOUNT (ECA)
· Council was briefed by the Accountant General of the Federation that the balance in ECA as at 14th February, 2018 stands at $2,317,252,449.57.
F. REPORT ON BALANCE OF THE STABILIZATION FUND ACCOUNT
· Council was also briefed by the Accountant General of the Federation that the balance in the Stabilization Fund Account as at 14th February, 2018 stands at N11,290,664,060.06.
G. UPDATE ON NATURAL RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT FUND
· Council was equally briefed by the Accountant General of the Federation that the balance in the Natural Resources Development Fund as at 14th February, 2018 stands at N123,624,644,411.24
H. UPDATE ON BUDGET SUPPORT LOAN FACILITY
· The Accountant General reported to the Council as follows:
– 23 States have access to the facility
– N16.1 billion has been disbursed as at January 2018.