President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday launched Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP: 2017-2020) which targets a seven percent economic growth rate by 2020.
He launched the document at Council Chamber of Aso Rock Villa in a ceremony attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum and Zamfara State governor, Abdulaziz Yari; and members of the Federal Executive Council.
In his remarks, Buhari said the plan comprised the third key plank of his campaign promises, besides the fight against corruption and insecurity, over which he declared significant achievements that are “clear for all to see”.
The president therefore assured 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.
“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.”
He said that apart from optimising local content and empowering 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 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.”
He appealed 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, even as he noted that the plan 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.
Saraki and Dogara pledged the support of the National Assembly to the success of the plan while expression the confidence that Buhari had the will to pull through its implementation in a county that had become the burial ground of similar bright ideas in the past.
On his part, Yari announced on behalf of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), that the 36 State governors would take ownership of the plan and ensure its effective execution at the subnational level, as this is the surest way to achieving sustained inclusive growth.
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, whose ministry is driving the plan gave the assurance that “under the leadership of President Mohammadu Buhari, this plan will be effectively implemented.
“Whilst the Ministry of Budget a 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 added that although the ERGP outlines up to 60 initiatives, it focuses on five execution priorities, which are 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.