WorldStage Newsonline– The National Economic Council chaired by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo rose from its 97th meeting today at the Council Chambers which include a consideration of a National Livestock Transformation Plan 2019 – 2028 which is not targeted on only cows but a holistic strategy to address animal husbandry.
NATIONAL LIVESTOCK TRANSFORMATION PLAN
The Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi, Chairman Of NEC Technical Committee ON THE NLTP reminded NEC that the Committee was to address the Farmer/herder crisis.
The Committee therefore presented a National Livestock Transformation Plan 2019 – 2028 which is not targeted on only cows but a holistic strategy to address animal husbandry.
The Plan has six pillars: Conflict Resolution; Justice and Peace; Humanitarian Relief and Early Recovery; Human Capital Development; Cross cutting issues; and Economic Development
The Committee proposed an implementation guideline to guide FG and States and while N100 billion has been budgeted to support the project, the FG is to contribute 80% in grant to support States, while States will contribute land, project implementation structure, personnel and 20% cost of the project.
The Council therefore resolved the need to look at the Trans-Human West Africa Regional Protocol – because the country cannot allow such movement of cattle without registering and monitoring them; it emphasised the need to established the fact that NLTP is a creation of NEC and State Governors and is completely distinct from RUGA; NEC adopted the National Livestock Transformation Plan on January 18, 2019. It is a creation of the National Economic Council; States will determine, whether or not they are willing to participate, as FG did not impose this plan. Participation remains voluntary.
The role of the FG is to coordinate, monitor and help implement the plan.
STATE OF ACCOUNT
In her update on the federation financial position, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning reported to Council that balances in the underlisted accounts as at 17th September, 2019 showed that Excess Crude Account (ECA) has USD 274, 583, 856 .78; Stabilization Account has N23, 796, 349,487.76; and Dev. Natural Res. Acct Fund has N105, 135, 613, 817.27
BUDGET SUPPORT LOAN FACILITY
On the Budget Support Facility that State Governments, the Minister of State said states are expected to start servicing the loan from September 2019 and repayment is over 240 months
The Council therefore resolved that Governors should meet with the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria to sort out the details of repayment modalities and the Vice President will ensure same and ensure the meeting between the Governors, CBN and Finance Ministry in order to facilitate the speedy resolution of the matter.
PRESIDENTIAL ENABLING BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT COUNCIL (PEBEC)
The Secretary of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) Dr. Jumoke Oduwole gave an update on building an Enabling Business Environment. She informed Council that; There is currently a reform wave in African countries, as contained in the African Development Bank (AFDB) Economic Outlook Report released in January, 2019; That in the 2019 World Bank ease of doing business ranking, Nigeria is ranked 146 with Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) making up to 90% of Business in Nigeria; That the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020, which has three broad objectives; which includes restoring growth; Investing in people and Building a competitive economy has positioned Nigeria in the path of building a competitive economy; That PEBEC is mandated to make Nigeria’s ranking to top 100 in the 2020 World Bank Doing Business index; Achieve the required political buy-in across all arms and levels of government.
Furthermore, she told NEC that PEBEC has in the past 3 years achieved the following: Moved up 24 places in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking; 32 Nigerian states, led by Kaduna, Enugu, Abia, Lagos and Anambra states have improved in their ease of doing business environment; An independent EODB survey adjudged Nigeria’s reforms as impactful in terms of reduction in time, cost and procedures of doing business.
CRUDE OIL THEFT
-The 13 member Ad-Hoc Committee which is chaired by the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki in their report, told the Council that the Committee was constituted to address: Impact of vandalism, oil theft and illegal bunkering on oil production; Effectiveness of the activities of the JTF and other Security Agencies; Consider the set-up of Special Courts to prosecute offenders, among others.
The Terms of Reference of the Ad-Hoc Committee is to include: restoring and sustaining the three major pipelines; assessing the challenges and draw up a roadmap to guide further actions towards finding a lasting solution to the problem; co-opt individual or corporate body to facilitate the work of the Committee and update the Council regularly.
The Ad-Hoc Committee in its findings discovered that there were losses. NNPC reported a loss of 22.64 million barrel of crude oil valued at USD 1.35 billion for 2019 half a year and possibly UDS 2.7 billion for a full year at a global oil price of USD 60 per barrel, if not checked.
The losses were recorded on the following pipeline: Nember Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) 9.2 million barrels; Trans Niger Pipeline (TNP) 8.6 million barrels; Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP) 3.96 million barrels; Trans Escravos Pipeline (TSEP) 877 Thousand barrels.
Absence of governance structure for the pipeline such that no one is held accountable whenever there is a breach on the lines.
Slow and inadequate prosecution of oil thieves, despite numerous arrests and seizures.
Absence of petroleum products filling stations in most of its oil producing Communities that make them resort to illegal bunkering and refineries
Huge internal and external markets of stolen crude oil which include Ghana as well as some neighboring countries.
The Committee made the following recommendations to the Council:
i. The need to restructure the maintenance of all pipelines as a way of tackling the perpetrators of oil theft. ii.Have a legal framework that will ensure every criminal is duly prosecuted, imprisoned and all assets confiscated. iii. Setting up Special Courts to try offenders, set-up of Legal Task Force to coordinate the prosecution of arrested offenders as well as train special judges to handle cases of oil theft. iv. NNPC to engage the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to identify markets for the stolen products. v. Governors of the oil producing states to step up actions to develop their communities with their 13% derivation allocation as well as implement programmes that will be impactful to make life easy for the people. They should also create employment opportunities for the youths in these regions. vi. Propose a funding arrangement to be jointly funded by the Federal, State Governments and oil companies.
The Council therefore resolved that: Recommendations given will be presented to the President who is also the Minister of Petroleum for the final decision and implementation; The Chairman of Council also asked NNPC to make a presentation to the Council on the state of PMS and smuggling across the borders.
On governors requested clarification from the Council Chairman on the relationship between NEC and the newly formed Economic Advisory Council, the Vice President explained that both Councils are advisory for the benefits of the President, while NEC is established by the Constitution.
The Vice President added that NEC could be briefed regularly on the activities of the newly found EAC with the permission of the President.