You would recall that President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (GCON) to head the National Economic Council immediately he was sworn into office May 29 2015. This came after a careful decision taken by Mr. President.
Just few days to the end of the first tenure of this present administration, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has expressed his appreciation to state governors and other members of the National Economic Council (NEC) for their support in the past four years.
Osinbajo, who chairs the NEC, stated this while addressing the valedictory session of the council at Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday.
He said he looked forward to the implementation of the resolutions as NEC was an organic body that moved from one administration to another.
“First, let me thank you so very much for the very kind and generous comments you made about me and our team.
“I am very deeply grateful for the very solid support and cooperation that you have given me for the past four years.
“But for that support and cooperation, it would have been completely impossible to achieve some of the modest steps that we were able to make.
“I think that more importantly the cooperation that you have shown among yourselves; perhaps that is what has helped us a great deal.
“The legacy document is an important one not only because it chronicles sector debates and resolutions but because it ensures that next NEC is given a chance to implement or complete implementation.
“I think that one of the key things that we must do is to ensure that these resolutions not only survive one NEC but we ensure that we are able to do what we haven’t managed to do in our previous NEC.”
He urged those departing the council to use their political influence and reach to the advantage of Nigerians.
The vice president said that the outgoing governors had acquired enormous experience and implored them to focus on helping in various ways, especially those ways that were no longer affected by political considerations.
The vice president cautioned politicians against making utterances that heats up the polity.
“Unfortunately, frequently, our political elite sometimes out of advancing political agenda or simply seeking relevance recklessly stoke the fires of ethnicity and religious conflicts.
“I think we as leaders have a duty to keep the peace and welfare of our states.
“We must not only rise above the temptation to take advantage of our nation’s fault lines, but we must openly condemn and restrain those who do so.
“We must insist that this country truly belongs to all of us, especially those who cannot defend themselves.
“And when statements are made and when things are said that stoke the possibility of conflicts and all of that we must resist this sort of things.
“We must let those who do so know that this country does not belong to them alone; it belongs to all of us and especially those who cannot defend themselves when conflicts arise,” he said.
The highlight was the presentation of legacy document by the NEC Secretariat that chronicled sector debates and resolutions.
There were valedictory messages from the governors of Lagos, Kwara, Borno, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna and Imo states who spoke for their respective geo-political region and also from Gov. Abdulaziz Yari, the outgoing Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum.
The NEC comprises the 36 state governors, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and other government officials, whose duties influence the economy.
The meeting is the last before the May 29 presidential inauguration.