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Buhari assures ERPG, a solution to Nigeria’s economic challenges

by Elizabeth Archibong

April 5, 2017 | 4:36 pm
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

…Pledges to vigorously pursue implementation
…As states pledge to own the ERGP

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has formally launched Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, with an assurance that the implementation will bring a solution to the country’s economic challenges.

He also promised that his administration will pursue the implementation of the economic plan with the same vigour that they have used to pursue corruption and fight insecurity in the country.

This is even as the state governors pledged to take ownership of the plan and implement it at the sub-national level.

The ministry of budget and national planning had in March released the plan making it available on their website while waiting for the President to do a formal launch on his return from medical vacation in London.

Speaking at the luncheon shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting, in Abuja, President Buhari said the plan which is built on a special implementation strategy will enhance a 7 percent economic growth and enhance self-sufficiency and sustainability.

“As we all know this administration inherited numerous challenges. Our political campaign was based on the recognition of the difficult situation Nigeria was in and the need to bring positive and enduring
change and we remain committed to our electoral promise to change our way of doing things and change Nigeria for good.

“We are committed to delivering on the three key areas that we promised, that is improving security, tackling corruption and revitalizing the economy. Security in the northeast and other parts of Nigeria is significantly better today than when we came in

“I want to assure all Nigerians that we’re approaching the solution to our economic challenges with the same will and commitment we have demonstrated in the fight against corruption and in the fight against terrorism and militancy

“The economic recovery and growth plan brings together all sectoral plans from agriculture and food security, energy transport infrastructure, industrialization and social involvements together in a single document. It brings our strategic implementation plan and set out an ambitious roadmap to return the economy to growth and to achieve a 7 percent growth by 2020”.

According to him, the aim of government is simply to optimise local content and empower local investors and not just to get the country out of recession.

“We seek not to just take the Nigerian economy out of recession but to place it on a path to sustainable, inclusive and diversified growth.

We are determined to change Nigeria from an import dependent country to a producing nation. We must become a nation where we grow what we eat, and we consume what we produce. We must strive to have a strong Naira and productive economy” he said.

He appealed to State Governments to draw inspiration and “strategic direction from the Plan to articulate their economic programmes, particularly in the development of the real sector”.

The growth plan which targets to restore the economy through sustained growth between 2017 to 2020, seeks to grossly reduce inflation rate from an all-time high of 19 percent to a single digit. It also targets
to restore growth by ensuring the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) improves significantly to 2.19 percent in 2017, and 7 per cent at the end of 2020 especially through agriculture.

The new plan also aims to boost the power situation in Nigeria with 10 GW of operational capacity by 2020 as well improve the energy mix, including through greater use of renewable energy. It also projects
that the country will become a net exporter of refined petroleum products by 2020, amongst other things.

In his goodwill message at the event which had the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, Chairman of the All Progressive, John Oyegun and other dignitaries in
attendance, Chairman of the Governor’s Forum, Zamfara State Governor, Abdulazziz Yari, pledged that the governors of the 36 states “will take ownership and ensure the implementation of the plan at the sub-national level”.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, who supervised the birthing of the plan in his remarks said the broad objectives of the plan is to restore growth, invest in the people and build a globally competitive economy.

Noting that the ERGP is a fulfillment of the president’s promise to reinvigorate the economy, he explained that the document is the compilation of all the government’s plans in one place.

He said the plan articulates up to 60 interventions and initiatives that must be executed or completed within the next four years, to tackle and remove impediments to growth; to make markets function better, and to leverage the power of the private sector.

However, the growth pursued must be achieved without compromising the core values of the country such as discipline, integrity, social justice, self-reliance, and patriotism.

All the initiatives of the plan will be implemented in such a manner as to continue to strengthen and promote national cohesion and social inclusion.

Stating that the president has approved the creation of a special delivery unit in the presidency to monitor the implementation of the plan remove all bottlenecks, Udoma said, “ this is one plan that will be implemented with vigour, focus and success”.

In their respective goodwill messages, Saraki and Dogara pledged the unalloyed support to follow through with the plan and ensure that it is implemented.

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by Elizabeth Archibong

April 5, 2017 | 4:36 pm
  |     |     |   Start Conversation

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