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Details Of NEC Meeting Between Shettima, Governors, Others

President Bola Tinubu made a rare appearance at the 142nd meeting of the National Economic Council (NEC) held on Thursday at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The council, chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima, convened to discuss critical economic issues, including the proposed adjustments to the national minimum wage.

The president’s decision to attend the meeting underscores his commitment to engaging with key stakeholders, particularly state governors who are integral members of the NEC, on the sensitive issue of the minimum wage.

This move aligns with his earlier statements affirming that any decision to adjust the minimum wage would only proceed after thorough consultations and subsequent approval by the national assembly.

Despite high anticipations, the council did not disclose any decisions regarding the minimum wage adjustments at the conclusion of the meeting.

Highlighting the meeting’s outcomes, Minister of Agriculture, Abubakar Kyari, accompanied by the governors of Imo, Kano, and Kogi, announced a substantial federal government initiative.

He noted that a $1 billion agriculture mechanization programme has been approved, aiming to revolutionize the agro-sector.

This ambitious project plans to establish 1000 service providers across the country, equipped with tractors to enhance agricultural productivity and efficiency.

He explained, “We’ll have a minimum of 2000 tractors a year for the next five years and all other aggregation of agricultural commodities is going to be utilized at least nothing less than 600,000 youths to man these 1000 service centres.”

Noting that the elaborate plan will be rolled out as soon as it is feasible, he said the project was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) last Monday.

He spoke of an arrangement with John Deere and Tata to provide 2000 tractors before the end of the year.

According to him, the Greener Imperative Project, which he said is still in the works, is a 950 million euro project that will soon be unveiled. Kyari noted that a deal is being anticipated with Belarus Tractors to supply 2000 tractors per year for the next five years, with 9000 implements and spare parts, among others.

The agriculture minister also said that Saudi Arabia has expressed interest in 200,000 metric tons of red meat every year and 1 million tonnes of soya from Nigeria.

He added, “We have already last week had a meeting with our entrepreneurs and we have come out with a roadmap where we can supply and satisfy that demand.

“We are looking at partnership with foreign governments, not necessarily trying to ask them to come and invest, but asking them what can we produce so that we can sell to you so that we can earn foreign exchange.”

The Governor of Imo State, Hope Uzodinma, in his statement, said that the NEC directed the sub-committee of crude oil theft right provide comprehensive recommendations to end the menace during the next meeting.

He said even though the sub-committee was expected to submit its report during Thursday’s meeting, “it was inconclusive.”

On his part, Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano announced the constitution of the board of the Niger Delta Power Holding, which he said had operated for a long time without a supervising board.

He revealed that it is made up of governors of Borno, Katsina, Imo, Ekiti, Kwara, and Akwa Ibom states representing the different geo-political zones.

The minister of finance and coordinating minister for the economy, Wale Edun spoke of the activation of the Presidential food systems coordinating unit chaired by Vice President Kashim Shettima.

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