By; Sunday Ode, Abuja.
The Federal Governmennt is set to release N350 billion into the economy in the next few months in order to cushion the hardships being currently experienced by Nigerians.
This decision was part of the resolutions adopted on Tuesday at the end of a two-day retreat on the economy by the National Economic Council (NEC) in Abuja.
Presenting the communique at a press briefing after the event which held at the conference centre of the Aso Rock Presidential Villa, Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun said the money to be pumped into the economy would help to settle contractural obligations and get Nigerians back to work.
Adeosun also disclosed that participants at the retreat which included governors of the 36 states of the federation also agreed on the need for more cost efficiency in operation of government projects as well as the need to focus on property and consumption taxes.
Also speaking on the resolutions reached at the retreat, Budget and National Planning Minister, Udoma Udo Udoma said the federal government and the states resolved to work together and explore immediate ways of increasing revenues to enhance their operations.
He said the retreat also set targets for the nation to achieve self sufficiency in food production and to diversify the economy with emphasis on agriculture and mining.
Accordingly, he disclosed that the nation was expected to be self sufficient in tomato paste by the end of this year, while it would achieve same in rice and wheat production by 2018 and 2019 respectively.
According to the Budget and Planning Minister, every state of the federation was also expected to identify at least two solid minerals in their domain with a view to harnessing their exploration after necessary documentations by relevant authorities.
He said the retreat charged both the federal and state governments to step up construction of feeder roads to ease transportation of agricultural produce from rural areas as well as increase investment in infrastructure through Public Private Partnership (PPP) programmes.
Also, the retreat approved the establishement of two committees on the implementation and monitoring of the economic policies of government.
The committee, said Governor of Zamfara state, Abdulazeez Yari, would follow up on implementation of the decisions reached at the retreat and report back to NEC.
According to him, the steering committee would be chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.