By Daniel Idonor
ABUJAâ€”THE weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, which met behind closed doors yesterday, put the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi on the spot with probing questions on the performance of the economy.
Sanusi, sources said, told the meeting which was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, with cabinet members in attendance, that crude oil/natural gas growth rate stood at 0.27 per cent.
He noted that against the backdrop of the projected real Gross Domestic Product, GDP, growth rate for 2010 which stood at 7.53 per cent, the Nigerian economy had recorded steady growth especially in the first quarter of the year.
Sanusi told the FEC: â€œEconomic prospects are encouraging; output growth trajectory in the short-to-medium term remains strong, with non oil GDP remaining at 8.92 per cent, buoyed by agriculture, wholesale and retail trade and services.â€
Addressing State House Correspondents at the end of the meeting, the Minister of Information and Communication, Professor Dora Akunyili and her Minister of State counterpart, Mr. Labaran Maku, quoted the CBN boss as saying that â€œIMF latest projections put Nigeriaâ€™s overall growth at 7.0 per cent, while inflationary pressure projected to moderate progressively in the short-term.â€
She stated that â€œupside risks to inflation remain in short-to-medium term on account of: expansionary fiscal operations, sustained rise in commodity prices including crude oil prices, liquidity injection associated with resolution of the banking crisis, AMC and recapitalization, increased spending in the run-up to election.â€
Computer centres for 290 schools
The Minister said that the FEC approved N3 billion for the procurement and installation of a high profile ICT centres in 290 schools across the Federation, noting that the government intended to â€œcreate a generation of Nigerians with broad base theoretical and practical knowledge of ICT, who can leverage on this when they step into the labour market, Council considered and approved the award of contract.â€
Details of the contract, according to her, include â€œthe deployment of 100 classmate PC for students; two laptops for teachers for teaching purposes; one unit of server; broadband internet connections with two years of guaranteed bandwidth payment; and provision of power supply through solar system.â€
She listed other details as including â€œthe refurbishing and securing of equipment storage room; provision of wireless mesh and charging platforms for each of the selected 290 schools at a unit cost of N12.31 million per schools in favour of ZINOX Technologies Ltdâ€.
With 201 schools to service at the cost of N2.5b, and dialogue global links with 89 schools to service, at the cost of N1.1b giving a total cost of N3.6b for the projects with 36weeks as completion period, she said ICT would undoubtedly be enhanced in the affected schools.
Cabinet meetings remain FEC
Meanwhile, the new Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice, AGF, Mr. Bello Adoke, yesterday, wrote a â€œnoteâ€ to the Council advising that it should retain the name of the Federal Executive Council for the weekly cabinet meetings, than change it to Executive Council of the Federation, EXCOF.
Akuniyli said â€œthe Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice presented a note to Council advising it on the correct terminology to be used to describe the Federal Executive Council.
She said: â€œAdoke said that there is a rational basis for the retention of the term â€˜Federal Executive Councilâ€™ because of its long usage over the years and to maintain consistency in the customary references to Council meetings and ownership of Council documents.â€
The minister said that â€œaccordingly, Council was advised to retain the designation â€œFederal Executive Council.â€
A Federal high court, Abuja Judicial Division, had recently, ruled that the Federal Executive Council, FEC, was not recognized by the 1999 Constitution, declaring that what was known to the Constitution was Executive Council of the Federation.