NEC: President Buhari Urges Governors To Enforce Free, Compulsory Basic Education
*Council’s inaugural meeting tackles national security, receives progress report in some states
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged State Governors to “enforce very vigorously” free and compulsory basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age.
The President, stated this on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, when he formally inaugurated the new National Economic Council (NEC), the first NEC meeting into the next level of this administration’s second term of office which commenced May 29, 2019.
In his speech, at the inaugural session of the Council, which is chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, the President also urged the Governors to pay special attention to security, health and agriculture in the next four years of this administration, and reminded them that providing free and compulsory education is a constitutional provision.
He said, ‘‘Section 18(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended places on all of us here an obligation to eradicate illiteracy and provide free and compulsory education.
‘‘Section 2 of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act provides that every Government in Nigeria shall provide free, compulsory and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age.
‘‘It is indeed a crime for any parent to keep his child out of school for this period. In my view, when a government fails to provide the schools, teachers and teaching materials necessary for basic education, it is actually aiding and abetting that crime.
In his inaugural speech, the President noted that this was a call to action. “I would like to see every Governor rise from this meeting and rally his local Government Chairmen towards ensuring that our schools offer the right opportunities and provide the needed materials and teachers for basic education, at the minimum. ‘If we are able to do this, the benefits will surely manifest themselves,’’ the President said.
The President told the Governors that successes in the four key areas of education, security, health and agriculture would go a long in lifting Nigerians out poverty, and securing the future for sustainable growth and development.
In his remarks, the Vice President warmly welcomed the New Governors and noted that the inaugural Council Meeting was focused on National Security.
The Inspector-General of Police, in his presentation, said the Force is strategizing on reducing security threats. These include engagement and partnership with leaders, community policing, the introduction of Superhighway patrol and monitoring, installation of CCTV for monitoring, reorganisation of the police monitoring team and establishment of police cybercrime monitoring.
The IGP also reported some progress in security measures already taken. These include an improved relationship between the police and members of the public in willingness to give information, apprehension of kidnappers in various part of the country especially in Kaduna and other states, and the recovery of weapons and ammunition and arrest of cultists in some parts of the country.
Following the meeting, a security and Policing Committee was set up by Council, with Governors of Ekiti, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Katsina, Kogi and Borno States; NSA, IGP and representative of the Chief of Defence Staff as members.
Below are highlights of the inaugural NEC meeting:
NEC (3rd IN 2019) 95TH NEC MEETING – THURSDAY, 20TH JUNE, 2019
PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION OF NEC INTO THE NEXT LEVEL
In his Inaugural Speech, the President charged the Council among others:
- To pay particular attention to issues of Security, agriculture, education, health etc
- He charged the Council to bring forward key resolutions that would move the country forward and enhance better security in the nation
- He told the Governors that the Federal Government will assist States to access foreign assistance for basic education
- He implored the States to also find ways to improve the economic condition of the poor, take agriculture and health seriously in order to better the lots of the citizens.
- He emphasized that projects that will promote security, education, agriculture and health should be given priority in the States
- He finally advised the Governors to join hands with the Federal Government irrespective of party difference to take the nation to the next level.
REVIEW OF SECURITY SITUATION IN THE COUNTRY BY THE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER (NSA)
- The NSA told the Council that the Security issue in the North East, particularly activities of the Boko Haram have remained fragile
- Troops of the MNJTF conducting offensive operation in Lake Chad Area to neutralize the ISIS in West Africa
- Armed Banditry elements are attempting to entrench themselves in the North West
- Herdsmen and sedentary Farmers Conflict-affected 16 States
- Pipeline vandalism, illegal oil refineries and piracy – 373 illegal refineries were destroyed and the sea piracy incidences have reduced.
- Federal Government has invested a lot of resources in developing Maritime domain monitoring.
- Drivers of insecurity are; unemployment, underemployment, poverty, drug abuse and rising population etc
- Employment creation and reducing poverty
- Ending the culture of impunity
- Affordable education
- Police reforms
PRESENTATION BY IG OF POLICE ON SECURITY
- The presentation aimed at offering strategies at reducing security threats.
- A broad analysis shows that kidnapping is more prevalent in the country followed by banditry
- Actions among others; Engagement and Partnership with leaders and community policing
- Establishment of police operations. E.g Operation Puff Adderwd`
- Introduction of Superhighway patrol and monitoring
- Fixing of CCTV for monitoring
- Reorganisation of police monitoring team and establishment of police cybercrime monitoring.
Some Reported Progress
- There is an improved relationship between the police and members of the public in willingness to give information
- Apprehension of kidnappers in various part of the country especially in Kaduna State etc
- Recovery of weapons and ammunition and arrest of cultists in some parts of the country.
- The greatest challenge is funding (limited resources)
D. FAAC UPDATE
REPORT ON EXCESS CRUDE ACCOUNT (ECA)
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, reported to the Council that the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) as of June 19, 2019, stands at $144,009,967.74.
UPDATE ON STABILIZATION FUND ACCOUNT:
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, also reported to the Council that the current balance in the Stabilization Account as of June 19, 2019, is N17,667,778,861.99.
- A Council Ad-hoc Committee to reconcile Excess Crude Account, NNPC remittance and related issues were also reconstituted
- The members of the Committee are the Governors of Edo, Kaduna, Jigawa and Ebonyi State. The Committee will meet with relevant Federal Government officials for the reconciliation.
UPDATE ON NATURAL RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT FUND
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, equally reported to the Council that the current balance in the Natural Resources Development Fund as of June 19, 2019, is N77,735,485,231.19.