The third session of the National Economic Council (NEC) during Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration has commenced in the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa in Abuja. Vice President Kashim Shettima is presiding over the meeting, with the presence of governors and deputy governors representing their respective states,Daily Trust reports.
Among those attending are the governors of Osun, Lagos, Kaduna, Adamawa, Rivers, Benue, Sokoto, Delta, Ebonyi, Taraba, Nasarawa, and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, among others.
The meeting takes place in the backdrop of organized labor’s plan to declare a nationwide indefinite strike on October 3, citing the government’s perceived failure to address the suffering of Nigerians through structured post-subsidy programs.
In the previous meeting held on August 17, NEC had approved a modest allocation of N5 billion for each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for the procurement of food items and fertilizers. This move was part of an effort to alleviate the hardships caused by the removal of fuel subsidies in the country.
Following the meeting, Governor Babagana Zulum explained that these funds were intended to provide temporary relief for the high cost of living resulting from the subsidy removal while the government continued to work on more sustainable programs. He disclosed that the states were expected to use the funds to purchase 100,000 bags of rice, 40,000 bags of maize, as well as fertilizers and other essential items.
Governor Zulum also mentioned that, recognizing the urgent need to address the soaring food prices nationwide, the federal government had previously dispatched five trucks of rice to each state in the federation.