Osinbajo Heads Panel On Herdsmen Killings

The National Economic Council (NEC) has constituted a working committee of nine governors, with the Vice President as chairman, to resolve herders and farmers clashes.

This was one of the high points of the resolutions of NEC announced by Governors Dave Umahi of Ebonyi and Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano.

According to Ganduje, the committee has begun its meeting and consultations immediately.

“On the farmers and herders clashes, the Council constituted a working group to collaborate with the federal government in addressing the issues of impunity regarding the killing and violence.

“The Committee is composed of nine governors, under the chairmanship of the Vice President and would work in accordance with the present commitment to ensuring that all perpetrators of violence are brought to book.

“The working group comprises governors of Zamfara, Kaduna, Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Edo, Plateau, Ebonyi and Oyo States.

“The committee has started its meeting right after today’s National Economic Council.’’

The Kano governor also said that the Finance Minister Mrs Kemi Adeosun, informed NEC that 11 states had received the N700 million disbursed for budget support from the federal government.

He said that states with outstanding payment were asked to fulfil the necessary obligations before the disbursements were made adding that the criteria for disbursement was tied to the fiscal sustainable plan approved earlier by NEC.

He said the minister announced a balance of 2.32 billion dollars in the Excess Crude Account as at Jan. 15, while the stabilization fund account had balance of N9.73 billion and the National Resource Development Fund had N115.01 billion.

On his part Gov. Umahi said that NEC considered the need for increased domestic funding for the treatment of HIV following the presentation by the Health Minister and Director-General of NACA for the elimination of the condition by 2030.

He said the presentation stated that such increase would reduce dependence on donor funding for HIV services which was already declining due to present economic realities as well as to resolve other implications.

He said the Health chiefs also called for investment in HIV treatment that would lead to increased life expectancy in the country and proportionate increase in GDP.

He said that reducing the gap between those who require HIV care and treatment and those who had access was also given as reason for the proposal to invest in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

“The presentation asked Council to approve the resolution of the 59th National Council of Health that at least between .one per cent and five per cent of the monthly federal allocation to states be earmarked for implementation of HIV/Aids sustainability roadmap.

“Council was also asked to approve universal free anti-natal services and abolition of user-fee associated with Prevention of Mother-to-Child transmission services.

“Council was also asked to ensure that state Health Insurance Schemes include HIV as an indicator disease for both testing and treatment particularly as it relates to community health insurance programmes.

“Council noted and approved the recommendations above as requested,’’ he added.

Umahi added that the Health Minister also briefed NEC on the outbreak of Lassa fever, especially in Ebonyi and the council agreed on immediate federal government’s intervention in Ebonyi and Ogun states.

On the update in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, he said that after the presentation by the Minister of Budget and National Planning on the efforts by the federal government, NEC agreed that states to start the implementation of the programme. (NAN)

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