...Sets up monitoring unit to remove impediments
…We won’t compromise core values while implementing plan – Udoma
… Governors will own plan – Yari
… Nigeria burial ground of good ideas – Dogara
From: Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that the same vigour and commitment deployed in the fight against corruption, terrorism and militancy would be deployed to find solution to the economic challenges facing the country.
He further assured Nigerians that his administration was determined to return Nigeria from a consumer nation to a producing nation.
He said this at the formal launch of the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020, held at the Council Chambers in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The President has also approved a Special Delivery Unit be created in the Presidency to monitor its implementation and remove all bottlenecks to ERGP implantation. Assuring “This is one Plan that will be implemented with vigour, with focus, and with success. ”
Buhari, who was joined at the launch by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National Chairman of the All Progressive Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun, Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and the Zamfara State Governor who is also the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), Abdulazeez Yari, said the successful implementation of the document depends on the cooperation of the governors.
The President reminded Nigerians that his administration inherited numerous challenges, noting that his party’s campaign in the run-up to the 2015 elections was based on a recognition of the difficult situation Nigeria was in and the need to bring positive and enduring change.
While noting that his administration has remain committed to his party’s electoral promise to change the way of doing things and to change Nigeria for good, Buhari added his administration’s remains committed to delivering on the three key areas that “we promised – That is improving security, tackling corruption and revitalising the economy. Security in the North East, and other parts of Nigeria, is significantly better today than when we came in. With regards to our fight against corruption, as you all know, our law enforcement agencies are prosecuting very many cases of corruption. Our successes in these two areas are clear for all to see.
“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 and in the fight against terrorism and militancy.
“I will apply same vigour against corruption to revamp economy”.
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.
“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.
“The Plan I am launching today therefore sets out what we, as Government, are committed to do, to create the enabling environment for business to thrive.The Plan is a national plan, hence the role of State Governments is critical to its success. I therefore wish to appeal to the State Governments to draw inspiration and strategic direction from the Plan to articulate their economic programmes, particularly in the development of the real sector.
“I call on all Nigerians to work with us to ensure we achieve those objectives. The contents of the Plan are already familiar to a broad cross-section of Nigerians because it was developed in consultation with a wide group of stakeholders, including the National Assembly, State Governments, the business community, labour unions, academia, civil society groups and development partners,” he said.
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.
Minister of National Planning in his opening address, Udoma Udo Udoma said, “whilst 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 proposals which were submitted to the a National Assembly in December last year.”
He said the aim “is to create a culture where Nigeria continuously seek ways to add value to the resources we have been blessed with. In short, our aim is to change Nigeria, and change for good.
“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 to remove, impediments to growth; to make markets function better; and to leverage the power of the private sector. However, this growth is to be archived 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.
“Even though the ERGP outlines up to 60 initiatives, it focuses on five execution priorities, which are central to achieving the seven percent growth projected by the end of the Plan period. These are namely, stabilizing the Macroeconomic Environment; Achievement of Agriculture and Food Security; Expansion of Energy Infrastructure and Driving Industrialization principally through local and small business enterprises.”
In his goodwill messages, Saraki congratulated to the executive and the economic team for a job well done.
“Today is a promise kept and that is why I commend Mr. President for this” adding that the implementation of the Plan now lies on all of us.”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.”
Dogara on his part, pledged the unalloyed support of the House of Representatives to follow through with the Plan and ensure that it is implemented.
“Today marks one of those days that some of us who are students of economic development will be proud. For the first the Plan has all the inputs of all stakeholders and I am happy that the inputs of the National Assembly most of it was adopted. I have no doubt that if properly implemented will turn around the economy.
“My concern was the implementation but we have been reassured by the minister it will not go the way of good visions in the past that failed because it was never implemented. We have in the person of Mr. President a good captain. I pledged the unalloyed support of the house to the implementation of this document and we promise that we will follow through to see that this document is implement because this nation is a burial ground for good ideas that was never implemented.”
Yari described the launch as a significant milestone in the management of the economy of the country. He pledged that the governors of the 36 states “will take ownership and ensure the implementation of the plan at the sub-national level”.
He said the governors have made commitment with the significant reforms carried out including addressing huge waste bill and double taxation.