Twenty four hours after the Senate Deputy President, Ike Ekweremadu, called for the sack of Budget and National Planning Minister, Udoma Udo Udoma and Finance, Kemi Adeosun, state governors have passed a vote of confidence on them, praising their efforts, competence and capabilities.
Ekweremadu had Wednesday advised President Muhammadu Buhari to remove Udoma and Adeosun, even as Senator Shehu Sani (APC, Kaduna Central) said sacking the two ministers will not solve the current economic crisis.
Ekweremadu said the Buhari administration “should not put square pegs in round holes.”
The National Economic Council (NEC), presided over by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, expressed support for the plans and proposals of the Federal Government to steer the country out of recession.
The NEC is an advisory body on the economy, comprising of all 36 states governors and the Central Bank Governor.
While acknowledging the current economic challenges and difficulties, the governors endorsed the measures taken by the Economic Management Team to get the country out of recession and also commended the Budget and Planning and Finance Ministers.
Addressing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Governors of Kebbi, Atiku Bagudu, Oyo, Abiola Ajimobi and Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Yetunde Onanuga, said they were briefed by the Economic Management Team, Udoma, Adeosun and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emiefele on measures put in place to get the nation out of the woods.
On measures for economic revitalisation, Bagudu said, the EMT, was working on plan to generate immediate larger injection of fund into the economy through, asset sales, advance payment of license renewals, infrastructure concessioning, use of recovered funds among to reduce funding gaps in the economy. He also listed the, Implementation of Fiscal Stimulus/Budget Priorities, Fast-track procedures through legislation and implementation of Strategic, Implementation Plan (SIP) of the budget, though meaningful diversification of the economy and a cut down on importation.
Bagudu said, “Council members in response commended the Economic Management Team and generally welcomed the presentation and expressed support for the plan to steer the nation out of recession”.
Ajumobi said the council was briefed on the Land Use Act of 2013, which seeks to make provisions to Streamline mortgage transactions and clearly delineate the rights, duties and obligations of a mortgage.
“Other aspects of the draft are Conditions for disposal of proceeds of sale and subsequent mortgages and implied terms of a mortgage; Rights of redemption and remedies and issues on mortgage by companies; Power of Assignment by mortgage and right of transfer and application of insurance money by the receiver”.
The Oyo governor also said the council was briefed on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative on affordable housing by Adesoun.
He said. ”Target of N1billion fund to operate PPP (N500 billion initial) to create a blended pool of long term funds to intervene in housing development finance and mortgage provision.
“Funds aims to deliver family housing priced from as low as N2.5 million up to N18 million delivered in a ready to occupy condition with essential services (water and power connected).
“The delivery target is 400,000 to 500,000 housing units per annum. The ultimate aim of the programme is to channel funds from savers to borrowers, so that builders have the required capital to construct and prospective buyers can access credit to purchase.
“The fund will attract low cost local and international capital, including from domestic pension and insurance funds, FG funding, as well as contributions from State Governments and other agencies”, he said.
Onanuga on her part said the Minister of Finance reported to the council the balance in Excess Crude Account in US dollars which stood at $2.453 billion as at September 2016.
“Also at the council meeting another presentation was made on best options for managing the flow train forex policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria. This was a joint presentation by the Governor of Central Bank and the Minister of Finance, the highlights are that the CBN should introduce special monetary policy in the nation as dictated by consumer price and exchange rate.”
Adoption of policy tax measures for flexible forex rate to address persistent pressures occasioned by statutory and speculative demands.
“Improving market dynamics by CBN”
“Interventions to states in the area of salaries and commercial agriculture,the presentation also noted the following, controlling inflation is key to stabilising other macro economic indices and the current stance of monetary policy is expected to continue to help macro inflation expectations.
“Also an update on Budget support loan facility was discussed at the council, the Minister of Finance reported to council that N50billion has so far been disbursed and the facility is ongoing”.