- Assures on effective implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP: 2017-2020)
By SUNDAY ODIBASHI
Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, at the launch of the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP: 2017-2020) by President, Muhammadu Buhari, reechoed the president’s three cardinal policy thrusts he promised during the electioneering campaigns in 2015. The minister commended the president for remaining committed to the promises which he said heralded the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP: 2017-2020).
Accordingly, Udo Udoma commended President Buhari, for his leadership and his inspiration and guidance in the development of the Plan. “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; secondly, to fight corruption, and thirdly, to repair the broken economy. And when the cabinet was sworn in November, 2015, he gave us our marching orders. This Economic Recovery and Growth Plan is therefore a fulfillment of his promise to re-invigorate the economy,” Udoma declared.
The minster noted that, “whilst the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan is being formally launched today, its implementation is not starting today.” He explained that 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. “Indeed, many of the initiatives in the Plan are contained in the 2017 budget proposals which were submitted to the National Assembly in December last year,” the minister stated.
Udoma narrated that the broad objectives of the ERGP are to restore growth, invest in our people and build a globally competitive economy. “…our aim is to build a self-reliant economy. A country in which we grow what we eat, use what we make and produce what we consume. A country which embraces the world of technology, ideas and investment from everywhere, but domesticates these ideas for the use of our people. A country which produces high quality goods, not just for our own consumption, but enough to export to our neighbours, and, indeed, the world. Our aim is to create a culture where Nigerians continuously seek ways to add value to the resources we have been blessed with. In short, our aim is to change Nigeria, and change Nigeria for good,” he highlighted.
To achieve this, the Plan articulates up to 60 interventions, and initiatives, that must be executed and/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, Udoma said. “However, this growth is to be achieved without compromising the core values of this nation, such as discipline, integrity, social justice, self- reliance and patriotism. And, of course, all the initiatives in the Plan will be implemented in such a manner as to continue to strengthen and promote national cohesion and social inclusion,” he remarked.
The minster highlighted that even though the ERGP outlines up to 60 initiatives, it focuses on five execution priorities, which are central to achieving the 7% growth projected by the end of the Plan period. These are namely: (i) Stabilizing the Macroeconomic Environment (ii) Achievement of Agriculture and Food Security (iii) Expansion of Energy Infrastructure capacities (power and petroleum), (iv) Improving Transportation Infrastructure and (v) Driving Industrialization principally through local and small business enterprises.
Udo Udoma acknowledged that the ERGP is the work of very many people; thus he commended the leadership and membership of the National Assembly; the State Governors and State Commissioners of Planning; our development partners; the members of the private sector; as well as the economists, researchers, members of civil society, labour, members of academia and other development experts who attended the many retreats they held.
I would also like to acknowledge all the members of the Economic Management Team, under the leadership of His Excellency, the Vice President, and indeed, all the members of the Federal Executive Council, as this was our collective work. The Ministry of Budget & National Planning simply played a coordinating role.
The minster assured that under the leadership of President Buhari, the Plan will be effectively implemented. Whilst the Ministry of Budget & Planning will be coordinating the Plan, the President has approved that a Special Delivery Unit be created in the Presidency to monitor its implementation and remove all bottlenecks to plan implementation, Udoma said.