The sixth virtual National Economic Council meeting, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday, approved N13 billion for the take-off of Community Policing initiative across the country.
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity
Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, the approval is part of measures adopted to consolidate efforts aimed at containing the security situation in the country.
The meeting had in attendance by state governors, FCT Minister, CBN Governor and some federal cabinet officials.
The meeting resolved that the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State with two other governors, meet with the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the Finance Minister and the Inspector General of Police to coordinate the proper utilization of the funding of the initiative.
The National Economic Council (NEC) Ad-hoc Committee on Security and Policing, had made a presentation on its assignment to the Council noting that engagement with key stakeholders on the operationalization of community policing in the country was in ongoing.
The presentation was made by Fayemi, as the Chairman of the NGF.
Other reports received by Council at today’s meeting included reports on the COVID-19 pandemic situation in the country; flood disaster risk management in Nigeria for 2020, and the issue of compensation payments regarding Federal Highway projects across the country.
Responding to two presentations on the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria: one by NEC’s Adhoc committee interfacing with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, and the other by Nigerian Centre for Disease Control, the governors commended the efforts and commitment of the Federal Government in containing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting States’ response capacity through various interventions.
The NCDC report indicated that the positivity rate has fallen from 19.7% in June to 13.7% in August 2020, while number of states with testing laboratories increased from 2 to 32, including the FCT.
According to the status report presented to the council, “the average tests per day has risen from 500 at the onset of the outbreak to 3,500 today, while the daily laboratory testing capacity increased to 10,000.”
Council also received recommendations from the Adhoc committee some of which include:
- The states and FCT to look for ways of upscaling the communication at the grass-root level/ non-compliance to non-pharmaceutical interventions.
- The need for states and FCT to explore the suggested use of local networks and traditional institutions such as Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) to re-orient the people at the grassroots who had continuously lived in denial of the pandemic but rather chose to display nonchalant attitude towards all the laid down protocols.
- States and FCT should engage the services of the respected community influencers such as the heads of “Area Boys”, market women, and villagers, in disseminating the same message to the grass root using different modes/media that are common to such people and could easily attract their attention.
Other highlights of the meeting are as follows:
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed reported to Council that the under listed accounts as at 18th August were as follows: Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance as at 18th August 2020 = $72,408,119.44.; Stabilization Fund Account Balance as at 18th August = N44, 207, 377,110.34 and Natural Resources Development Fund Account balance as at18th August = N144, 047, 195, 020.54. (Daily Sun)