President Muhammadu Buhari with Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki; Speaker Rt Hon Yakubu Dogara; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma during the formal launch of the Nigerian Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) at the State House, Council Chamber in Abuja. 5th April 2017. PHOTO: NOVO ISIORO
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday launched the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) (2017 to 2020) at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Stressing that his administration is committed to delivering its electoral promises, he said that the new plan will not only take Nigeria out of recession but place the economy on inclusive growth.
According to him, the successes being recorded in the fight against corruption and securing the nation, under his administration, are clear to everybody.
He said “As we all know this Administration inherited numerous challenges. Our political campaign was based on a 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 to change Nigeria for good.
“We are 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,” the President said
He also assured all Nigerians that his administration is handling the economic challenges with the same commitment so far demonstrated in the fight against corruption, against terrorism and militancy.
The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, he said, brings together, in a single document, all sectoral plans for agriculture and food security, energy and transport infrastructure, industrialization and social investments.
He said “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.” he said
While noting that the Plan is a national plan, he said that the role of State Governments is critical to its success.
He therefore urged 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 President also called on all Nigerians to work with the administration to ensure the objectives are achieved.
He pointed out that 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.
“I am pleased to present this Economic Recovery and Growth Plan for use by the Nigerian people, our friends and partners and to guide our development efforts over the next four years.” he stated
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, said that the Plan has 60 interventions and initiatives to be implemented in the next four years.
But he said that the government is focusing on five of the interventions.
He said “Right from when he was campaigning he has shown single-minded commitment to change Nigeria in a fundamental way. He promised three things. Firstly, to restore security, particularly in the North East. Secondly, to fight corruption, thirdly, to repair the broken economy. And the cabinet was sworn in 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
“Whilst 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 proposals which were submitted to the a National Assembly in December last year.
“The broad objectives of the ERGP are to restore growth, invest in our people and build a globally competitive economy. As our President, has repeatedly said, our some is to build a self-reliant economy. A country in which we can 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 domesticated 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 our neighbours, and, indeed, the world.
“Our 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.”
He however, said that it will be archived without compromising the core values of the 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.” he said
He said that the ERGP is the work of very many people as consultations were widely done.
He said “I would like to thank the general public for the very positive and encouraging feedback we have been receiving since the ERGP was exposed on our websites.”
Unlike some past programmes, he assured that the Plan will be effectively implemented.
“Whilst the Ministry of Budget and 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 the plan’s implantation. This is one Plan that will be implemented with vigour, with focus, and with success.” he said
Delivering a goodwill message, the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari, said that the plan is not only important to the Federal Government, but also to the state governments because of its inclusive growth.
He said that the State governments take ownership of the plan at the State level.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, pledged the support of the lower chamber to the implementation of the plan.
“I have no doubt that if successfully implemented, it will usher in the turnaround we all desire.” he said
On his part, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said “We must make it work, it has to work.”
Among dignitaries who attended the brief ceremony included the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Odigie-Oyegun and many cabinet members.