PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday inaugurated the National Economic Council (NEC) and pleaded for the support of state governors in fighting insecurity in the country.
Beyond insecurity, Buhari sought their collaboration at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on quality healthcare, education and agriculture in order to better the lots of the people.
“Today I inaugurated the National Economic Council (NEC), for the next four years. The Federal and State Governments must deepen collaboration on security, education, health and agriculture, to make a difference in the lives of our people,” says Buhari.
“I made it clear that I would like to see every governor rise from today’s NEC meeting and rally their LGA chairmen towards ensuring that our schools offer the right opportunities and provide the needed materials and teachers for basic education, at the minimum.”
However, he restated his commitment to the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), especially the national school feeding programme.
He said states would be supported to access counterpart funding usually provided by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to develop the education sector.
His words: “In healthcare, as you all know, the Federal Government is now implementing the Basic Healthcare Provision Fund. Sustained implementation will help us increase the share of Nigeria’s population covered by primary healthcare, from 12.6 per cent at present, to 65 per cent by 2023.
“And while the Federal Government has primary responsibility for security and will not shy away from it, the states also have a critical role to play; in particular by assisting and cooperating with the security agencies.”
“State governors and governments also have a responsibility to keenly pursue policies and programmes that forestall communal, tribal, religious and societal conflicts; and that promote education, information, dispute resolution, vocational training and youth employment,” he added.
In attendance were the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, state governors and their deputies.
Others present include, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, and Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.