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Council of State warns against waste

Posted by From Vincent Ikuomola, Abuja on 2008/11/25 | Views: 2558 |

Council of State warns against waste

To minimise the impact of the global financial meltdown on Nigeria, the National Council of State (NCS) yesterday advised all government tiers against waste in their 2009 budgets.

To minimise the impact of the global financial meltdown on Nigeria, the National Council of State (NCS) yesterday advised all government tiers against waste in their 2009 budgets.

The council warned that recurrent expenditures must be properly vetted to block drainpipes on the economy.
Among other things, the NCS rated the security situation in the country to have improved. But it warned interests procuring arms for security agencies to ensure strict compliance with statutory procedures.

Besides President Umaru Yar’Adua, who chaired the NCS meeting, members include Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, former Heads of State and the 36 governors.

Former Heads of State at yesterday’s meeting were Dr. Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Chief Ernest Shonekan and Gen. Abdusalami Abubakar. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari were absent.

Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Kaduna State Governor Namadi Sambo, accompanied by his Cross River counterpart, Liyel Imoke, said in view of the current global economic situation, the council advised against unguided expenditure.

He said: "The council was briefed on the state of the national economy. You are aware of the global economic meltdown as it affects the general position of the world economy; and the impact in Nigeria. Luckily, as we have been briefed, it’s not as extensive as in other countries. However, the national income from the sale of crude oil has been dwindling and, to date, the final pricing cannot be determined.

"However, generally, the plan for the 2009 appropriation has been looked at with all seriousness and states have been advised to ensure that proper processes are adopted; such that programmes of government must be put in such a manner that it is on performance-based procedure, such that all wastages must be avoided. For example, recurrent expenditure must be looked at with great care and all expenditure must be made to ensure that it is properly done."

Sambo said the council considered the security situation nationwide to have improved, restating that the safety of lives and property is a primary concern of the current administration. According to him, training of personnel and equipping of the security agencies helped greatly in this regard.

He said: "The council was fully briefed on the state of the nation regarding security. Council noted that generally, there has been a decline in security issues and Mr. President has reassured the nation of his continued determination to ensure safety of lives and property in the country, particularly in the Niger Delta.

"The support being given to the police, in particular, has been noted and state governors have been commended; but with a caution that all procurement of sensitive security equipment must follow proper statutory procedures."

Sambo said the council did prescribe to state governments what to do in further assisting the security agencies, since the case for each state would be peculiar. "Council did not state in specifics because each state has its own peculiarity. Therefore, assistance is dependent on the state and what the police in that state require. In all areas that the police may require assistance, it has been confirmed by the governors that they are ready to give the assistance to boost security in the country."

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