6 April 2017

Nigeria: Buhari Launches Economic Recovery Plan

Photo: This Day
Lagos, Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja formally launched the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan for a period of three years, covering 2017 to 2020.

The launch took place at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The plan, which is the brainchild of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, contains 60 critical initiatives expected to help get Nigeria out of recession and reposition it on the path of sustained growth.

It also focused on five execution priorities, which are central to achieving the 7% growth projected by the end of the Plan period.

The priority areas include Stabilizing the Macroeconomic Environment; Achievement of Agriculture and Food Security; Expansion of Energy Infrastructure capacities (power and petroleum); Improving Transportation Infrastructure and Driving industrialization principally through local and small business enterprises.

Speaking at the brief ceremony that preceded the meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, President Buhari said his government was determined to turn Nigeria from a consumer nation to a producing one.

He said: "I want to assure all Nigerians that we are approaching the solution to our economic challenges with the same will and commitment we have demonstrated in the fight against corruption, terrorism and militancy.

"The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan brings together all our sectoral plans for agriculture and food security, energy and transport infrastructure, industrialization and social investments together in a single document.

"It builds on the Strategic Implementation Plan and sets out an ambitious roadmap to return the economy to growth; and to achieve a 7% growth rate by 2020.

"Our aim simply put, is to optimise local content and empower local businesses. We seek not just to take the Nigerian economy out of recession but to place it on a path of sustained, 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 consume what we produce. We must strive to have a strong Naira and productive economy."

Earlier in his welcome address, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said the initiative was in line with the change agenda of the government to revive the ailing economy.

He said: "Right from when he was campaigning, he has shown a single-minded commitment to change Nigeria in a fundamental way. He promised three things. First, to restore security, particularly in the North East. Second, to fight corruption, and third, to repair the broken economy.

"Whilst the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan is being formally launched today, its implementation is not starting today. This is because the Plan puts together in one place, for easy access, all the sectoral plans that the government has been working on, from inception, including the Strategic implementation Plan for the 2016 Budget.

In his goodwill message at the event, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, lauded the initiative, pledging the support of the Senate in its realization.

"Today is a promise kept and that is why I commend Mr. President for this,

I pledge also we will make this work because we were consulted we are part of it. We are also working closely with the ease of doing business committee. Is a great document and we will ensure its implementation."

Similarly, speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, while also pledging the support of the House, tasked the executive on the implementation of the programme.

On his part, the Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF and governor of Zamfara State, Abdulaziz Yari, said all the 36 governors would key into the initiative to make it work.

"The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) marks a significant milestone in the economic management process of our country.

"The plan is important not only to the federal government, but also States, as it provides a basis for inclusive growth and development planning.

"It is no longer news that the Nigerian economy is currently facing a fiscal crisis which has affected development and has seen economic growth decline. It became evident that the country required a recovery and growth plan.

"The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) marks a significant milestone in the economic management process of our country.

He recalled that Nigeria had been a burial ground for ideas, urging the stakeholders to ensure that the initiatives wouldn't go the way of others in the past.

"The plan is important not only to the federal government, but also States, as it provides a basis for inclusive growth and development planning.

"lt is my pleasure to announce on behalf of the Nigeria Governors' Forum (NGF), that the 36 State governors will take ownership and ensure its effective execution at the subnational level, as this is the surest way to achieving sustained inclusive growth. In recent times, the level of cooperation between States and the federal government has increased significantly.

"We will continue to mobilize political support for reforms and recovery interventions contained in the ERGP that will help grow our economy and move the country forward," Yari said.

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