National Economic Council advises states to cut costs

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

Abuja (NAN) The National Economic Council (NEC) on Thursday resolved that state governments should design ways of reducing the cost of governance.

The resolution was taken at the 59th meeting of the council presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Executive Chamber of the State House, Abuja.

The Governor of Lagos State, Dr Akinwumi Ambode, who briefed state House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, said that the council also resolved to support the efforts of the Federal Government to boost the economy of the nation.

“We resolved that all states should find ways to reduce their costs of governance.

“We also spoke about the issues that relate to the state of insurgency in the North East and the activities of Boko Haram.

“We spoke extensively on its implication to the whole nation and what effect that will have on our economy.

“We also recorgnised the frantic efforts that has been made by the President and even his recent visit to the U.S. in trying to find solutions to resolve the situation in the North East.

“We also recognized the fact that the new Service Chiefs will cooperate with the President and also ensure that all the things that are to be put in place are done as quickly as possible.

“We resolved to support the Federal Government in all its policy direction to boost the economy of this nation.

“Above all, we also spoke in areas that relate to boosting the revenue potential of the country.

“We commend the efforts of the President, we also commend the effort of the Vice President on their visits to the areas in the North East and also resolved that we will do everything in our own ways and rights to ensure that we boost the economy of the States in the North East.“

Ambode said that the states did not have a uniform template on how to reduce the cost of governance but it was very clear that the states should in their specific situations find such way of cutting costs.

“What is important is that we cannot continue with the kind of huge cost we are applying to run our government.

“A situation where you are having a huge percentage of your budget as recurrent expenditure is obviously not acceptable.

“You must look for ways in reducing the cost of administration in the various states,“ he added.

On the report of the committee set up by the NEC to look into the depletion of the Excess Crude Account, the governor said the committee had yet to submit the report as it was still working on it.

He, however, said that NEC would expect the report at its next meeting.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, made a presentation to the Council suggesting how existing state loans could be restructured.

But the council resolved that the governors of Bauchi, Rivers, Ondo, and Osun should follow-up with the CBN and resolve the issue by Tuesday.

The council noted the various reports of insurgency and cattle rustling in parts of the North following security concerns raised by the governors of Yobe, Borno, Taraba, Kaduna, Gombe, Plateau and Bauchi.

At the meeting, Prof. Osinbajo revealed that security reports indicated that scavengers were being prepared by insurgents to dump refuse laden with bombs in the houses of Very Important Persons.

NEC, therefore, recommended that adequate sensitisation to the development be carried out at the grassroots, while security should be beefed up across the country.

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