During the second Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, discussions centred on the economy and the recent agreement forged between the government and labour unions earlier this month to prevent industrial action.
The minister of information and national orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the FEC meeting in Abuja on Monday.
He said that the issues were significant to the current realities and expectations of Nigerians from the President Bola Tinubu-led administration, adding that they were also hinged on the Renewed Hope Agenda.
“The issues raised at the meeting include the economy, road infrastructure around the country, a memo about the agreement reached between the government and the labour unions, as well as the revitalisation of the export processing zone,” he said.
The minister also disclosed that the meeting approved Mondays for the holding of the weekly FEC meeting instead of the Wednesdays adopted by the previous administrations.
“This does not, however, mean that it will be held every week. If there is any need to postpone it, that will be done and pending matters will be forwarded to the next Monday,” he said.
The minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Wale Edun, said that the meeting approved the application for financing from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA).
He said that the country was able to access $1.5 billion from the IDA, which is the virtually free or zero-interest lending arm or financing arm of the World Bank.
“Nigeria has been able to make the kind of macro-economic moves to take the tough decisions to restore balance in the economy and in the government’s finances that have warranted support.
“This had engendered support from the multilateral development banks.
“It is on this basis that the World Bank is willing to consider and to process on our behalf $1.5 billion of concessional financing, relatively cheap financing and financing that will be dispersed relatively quickly,’’ he said.
Mr Edun said that another $80 million in financing from the African Development Bank was approved by the FEC for the Ekiti Knowledge Zone (EKZ) project aimed at empowering the youths in the sector of Knowledge Economy through technology and communications generally.
He said, ‘’This is basically to support young people and their quest to take on technology to use it to be employed, to be trained, and to benefit from being part of the knowledge economy.
“This is part of the technological wave that is present very much in Nigeria, which is becoming a bigger and bigger share of the economy.’’
While briefing the state house correspondents, minister of labour and employment, Simon Lalong, said that FEC gave approval for the agreement between labour and the government during the October 2 meeting.
“Presidential approval was given after analysing the agreement to provide for industrial harmony. Similarly, the 30-day implementation timeline agreed on was also approved by FEC,’’ he said.