BY AKAMANU JENNIFER
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, has said there is a strong political will on the part of the federal government to implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Udoma said that the plan which would be launched by President Muhammadu Buhari next month was vital as it would help to restructure and reset the economy to the path of growth.
In his presentation on “Government’s current economic revitalisation effort” made to the private sector in Abuja, he said unlike other programs of government which were never effectively implemented, the government had put in place strategic implementation plan for the success of the ERGP.
He said 59 strategies have been developed for implementation to achieve the strategic objectives of the ERGP, noting that twelve of these strategies have been prioritized based on their importance to the success of the plan.
The strategies are to restore oil production to 2.2 million barrels per day and until it reaches 2.5 million barrels per day by 2020, privatize selected assets, accelerate non-oil revenue generation, drastical reduction of costs and alignment of monetary, trade and fiscal policies.
Others are expand infrastructure especially power, road and rail;revamp the four existing refineries; improve ease of doing business; expand social investment programmes; deliver on agricultural transformation; and accelerate implementation of National Industrial Revolution Plan using Special Economic Zones.
He said the government was working to turn the current economic crisis into opportunity, adding that the government would require the support of the private sector to revamp the economy.
He said, “The Medium Term Economic Recovery and Growth Plan is being finalised to address current economic challenges, restore growth, and reposition the economy for sustained inclusive growth.
“The ERGP is different from the previous plans and visions that have been developed and not effectively implemented.
“Implementation of the ERGP will be driven by strong political will; close partnership and strong collaboration between public and private sectors, especially in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing, solid minerals, services and infrastructure.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said that government would back plans by the United Nations World Food Programme to create a food hub in Nigeria.
The food hub according to the UN body will serve vulnerable people and communities in conflict in Nigeria and other African nations.
She stated this when the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme Ertharin Cousin visited her in Abuja on their plans and activities in Nigeria.
Ahmed stated that the plan for Food Hub in Nigeria as presented by the UN body is a good opportunity for business in Nigeria and African region, as it would provide jobs and increase revenue for farmers in Nigeria.