The National Economic Council has directed the 36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory to provide data on out-of-school children in the country.
Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi said this while briefing State House correspondents after Thursday’s NEC meeting in Abuja, which was presided over by Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.
Bagudu said the step was aimed at having a similar template for reporting the development nationwide.
He said the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, briefed the council, giving an update on the aggregate figures on state-by-state on the numbers of out-of-school children and their concentrations.
He also said that the minister gave details of government’s plans on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, STEM and Technical and Vocational Education and Training.
Bagudu said that NEC adopted the summary of budget and added that action on education in the states from 2009 till date would be forwarded to it through the Governors’ Forum.
He also said that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, gave a report on the National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP.
He added the purpose of NLTP was “to lay out how a focused effort in the agriculture livestock sub-sector can become a catalyst for building national prosperity”.
Bagudu said the plan was designed to create the basis for leading agribusiness companies to emerge along the lines of Brazil’s JBS, the US’s Perdue, or the Sino-American Smithfield.
He said: “The NLTP is seeking to provide a similarly conducive context for both nomadic herders and private enterprises, to deliver for Nigeria the transformation multiple countries have gone through from Paraguay, to Brazil to Zambia to Ethiopia.
“Agricultural sector is central to government diversification agenda of the economy away from the oil sector, it’s a top policy priority for Nigeria.”
According to him, NLTP has been backed up with the ECOWAS Heads of States and Governments approval in January 2005 called ECOWAS Agricultural Policy.
He said the plan was about creating condition to launch the peaceful transformation of Nigeria livestock ecosystem expected to return at least N2 trillion to Nigerian economy.
Bagudu said: “The current policies and strategic intentions at both national and State Government levels to improve livestock production and agropastoral practices have been hampered by many obstacles, which include limited knowledge of Nigeria’s livestock assets by size and location, water and land insecurity; low productive breeds of livestock among others.
“The phase one of the NLTP will initially support the development of grazing reserves in each of the seven pilots States (Adamawa, Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara), and also opt-in with private land provision to help shape the success of the pilot phase.”
He said the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, also gave NEC an update on the balances in the under Excess Crude Account, Stabilisation Fund Account, Natural Resources Development Fund and update on Budget Support Loan Facility.
He said the balance in the Excess Crude Account as at December 31, 2018 was 497, 864,626. 80 dollars; Stabilisation Fund Account as at Dec. 31, 2018 had N29, 672, 829,101.47, while the balance in the Natural Resources Development Fund as at December 31, 2018 was N 135,476,046,912.57.
On the Budget Loan Facility, Bagudu said that the Minister of Finance reported that the sum of N609,615 billion had been accessed so far by 35 states as at January 17, 2019.
He revealed that only Lagos State opted out of the facility.