Recession: NEC okays sales of national assets

Recession: NEC okays sales of national assets
September 22 21:48 2016

The National Economic Council (NEC) has endorsed measures put in place by the Economic Management Team (EMT) to steer the country out of the current recession including sales of national assets.

The council, headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, is made up of governors of the 36 states of the federation, Ministers of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), among others.

Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state  told State House correspondents after the council’s meeting on Thursday in Abuja, that the Economic Management Team was working on plans to generate immediate larger injection of fund into the economy through asset sales, advance payment of license renewals, infrastructure concession and use of recovered funds to reduce funding gaps.

Bagudu, who addressed journalists in company of Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo state and Deputy Governor of Ogun state, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga, said the team was also considering 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 on importation as ways of revamping the economy.

“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,” he said.

Governor Abiola Ajimob said the council was briefed on the Land Use Act of 2013‎ which seeks to make provisions to streamline mortgage transactions and 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,” he said.

He said the council was also briefed on the Public Private Partnership ‎ (PPP) initiative on affordable housing, especially the target of initial N500 billion 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.

On her part, the Deputy Governor of Ogun state, Mrs Yetunde Onanuga 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,” she said.

The governors said the council also passed a vote of confidence on the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Udoma Udo Udoma and the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun.

This is coming barely 24 hours after the Deputy President of the Senate, Mr. Ike Ekweremadu called for the sack of the two ministers and appoint competent aides to take the country out of the current economic difficulties.

He said the President “should not put square pegs in round hole.” ‎

The governors said, however, that the council members were confident of the competences and capabilities of the two ministers to manage their offices effectively.