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NEC committee begins work, to engage youths, CSOs, others

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• VP, govs to interact at zonal, state levels
The ad hoc committee set up by the National Economic Council (NEC) last week to engage youths, civil society organisations (CSOs) and different strands of leadership across the country has swung into action.

At a virtual meeting yesterday presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), the committee decided to embark on zonal and state-based engagement processes.

For the state-based engagements, each of the 36 state governors and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister would meet with the leadership and representatives of identified groups in their states. It will be followed immediately by zonal interactions featuring members of the committee.

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Aside youth groups and CSOs, traditional, religious and political leaders, the media and other opinion moulders would also be involved in the interactions that would touch issues around employment, social safety nets, security of life and property, national unity among others.

Yesterday’s meeting was attended virtually by all the members, including Osinbajo (chairman), Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal (North West), Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum (North East), Niger State Governor Abubakar Bello (North Central), Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu (South West), Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi (South East) and Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa (South South).

According to statement by Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, yesterday, the committee adopted to also engage with the security agencies and develop ways of delivering more control to state governors who are the chief security officers of their states.

Other terms of reference it adopted include recommending effective solution to the rising divisiveness and proposing ways of strengthening national unity; to develop a framework for the coordination of actions to be taken by both the federal and state governments in response to the fundamental issues underlying the protests; to co-opt and/or invite any individual or corporate body that may facilitate the work of the committee; and report such recommendations to NEC as may be considered appropriate.

After last Thursday’s more than four hours deliberation at an emergency meeting, NEC had resolved that the federal and state governments should address the real reasons behind the protests and the fallout.

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NECYemi Osinbajo
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