National Economic Council approves effort to revamp economy

Timothy Choji, Abuja


The Nigerian government is to restructure the economy with emphasis on infrastructure concession and possible asset sales among others.

Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bagudu made this statement while briefing newsmen at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after the 70th meeting of the National Economic Council, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Governor Bagudu said the Council urged citizens to be more patient as government takes decisive steps towards bettering their lot.

He said the meeting was in full support of the measures put in place by the government through the Economic Management Team towards improving the economy.

“Council members unanimously commended the Economic Management Team (EMT) and expressed support for the plan to steer the nation out of recession. The Council members expressed confidence in the EMT and both the Budget & National Planning and Finance Ministers for the presentations to the Council, praising their efforts, competence and capabilities. ” he said.

Governor Bagudu explained some of the steps being taken to include concession of infrastructure and advance payment of licence renewal fees among others.

“The President’s Economic Management Team is working on plans to generate immediate larger injection of fund into the economy through asset sales, advance payment of license renewals, Infrastructure concessioning, use of recovered funds to reduce funding gaps, implementation of Fiscal Stimulus/Budget Priorities, fast-track procedures through legislation and implementation of Strategic Implementation Plan of the budget, meaningful diversification of the economy and cut down importation,” he stated.

Affordable Housing
Also the Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi said the council considered the draft regulations of the land use act 2013 presented by the Presidential Technical Committee on Land Reforms, PTCLR.

“The PTCLR presented to Council draft regulations on Land Use Act 2013 which seeks to make provisions to Streamline mortgage transactions and clearly delineate the rights, duties and obligations of a mortgage,” Ajimobi explained.

He announced that government has set a target of one billion naira for the provision of 500,000 units of houses under the public private partnership.

According to him, “a target of one billion naira funds to operate the Public Private Partnership PPP scheme which will create a blended pool of long term funds to intervene in housing development finance and mortgage provision was agreed on. The funds aim to deliver family housing priced from as low as two point five million naira up to N18 million delivered in a ready to occupy condition with essential services like water and power connected.

‘‘The delivery target is 400,000 to 500,000 housing units per annum and 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, from domestic pension and insurance funds, FG funding, as well as contributions from State Governments and other agencies,” He explained.

Excess Crude
Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga gave the balance on the nation’s excess crude account, which stood at two point four billion dollars.

“The Honourable Minister of Finance reported to Council that the balance in Excess Crude Account is USD 2.453 billion as at September 20, 2016,” she stated.

Mrs Onanuga then declared that the Central Bank will soon introduce cautious monetary measures like improving market dynamics and managing floating Forex policies among others, to shore up the economy.

She added that over N50 billion has so far been disbursed as budget support facility to states of the federation.