FEDERAL government has
asked the 36 states of the
federation to develop their own
economic recovery plans or finetune
the economic growth plan
recently adopted by the federal
government to suit their needs, in
order to achieve a country-wide
economic recovery.
Minister of Budget and
National Planning, Senator
Udoma Udo Udoma, who
disclosed this at the closing of the
2017 (16th) National Council on
Development Planning meeting
in Minna, Niger State, on
Thursday, said it was by so doing
that the recovery of the economy
would be further accelerated.
Udoma said it was important
for state governments to
develop their own economic
recovery plans because they
were “operating at a level of
governance that is closer to the
people.
“I am confident that if we
remain positive determined and
focussed our country can achieve
the lofty goals and greater heights
that we have set for ourselves in
the ERGP,” he said.
The minister disclosed that
on the part of the federal
government, it was making
conscious efforts to ensure that
all “our annual budgets are
aligned with the ERGP so that
government spending is driven
by the plan.
“We are keeping to the
commitment to allocate not less
than 30 percent of the budgets to
capital expenditure particularly
on life changing infrastructural
projects.”
The minister said, however,
that “whilst our economic
growth rate is still too small
for celebration, it is a signal
that we are on the right path
to full economic recovery and
sustainable growth. It is also a signal that we must do more to
consolidate on this progress through
continuous implementation of the
ERGP.”
Udoma further noted that “a
special implementation unit to
ensure effective delivery of the
ERGP had been set up while staff
to drive the process had been
engaged.
“In the coming weeks too, we
will be running sector – focussed
Malaysian style labs in Agriculture
and Transportation, Power and
Gas and Manufacturing and
processing. The labs are intended to
bring all relevant stakeholders into
unbroken weeks of intensive and
working sessions to brainstorm on
practical steps to overcoming any
identified challenge in the selected
area. The central objective of the
labs will be to bring in private
capital to finance projects across the
country” Udoma declared.
Udoma disclosed that the nation’s
foreign reserve had significantly
improved from a low of just $23
billion in October 2016 to over $34.9
billion as at 13th November 2017
adding that the country had also
witnessed a considerable decline
in import bills from an average
of about N$3.5billion in 2014 on
monthly basis to $1.9 billion by half
year 2017.
“Our inflation rate has
persistently declined from 18.72
percent in January 2017 to 15.91
percent by October 2017, which
is approaching the ERGP target of
15.74 percent for the year Udoma
declared.
Niger State governor, Alhaji
Abubakar Sani Bello in an address
to declare the meeting open, said
his administration recognised the
importance of economic planning
as an instrument of economic and
financial management.
Bello, represented by his deputy,
Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Ketso,
said it was for that reason that the
administration embarked on critical
reforms to reposition the state.

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