President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, with a charge that Nigeria must produce what it needs and rely less on imports in order to revive the country’s economic status and pull out of recession.
Buhari reiterated that his administration is committed to the three key issues on which his campaign was premised namely: fight against corruption, tackling insecurity and ensuring economic growth.
“Security in the North East and other parts of Nigeria today is better than when we came in. Law enforcement agencies are prosecuting many cases of corruption and I assure all Nigerians that we are approaching our economic challenges in the same manner we are fighting insecurity and corruption,” the President said.
He noted that the new ERGP focuses on agriculture in order to ensure adequate food security, as well as energy, industrialisation and social investment.
The plan, according to President Buhari, is an ambitious one that seeks to achieve a 7 percent economic growth by the year 2020, as he maintained that its aim is not just to bring the country out of recession, but to set it on the path of strength and growth, away from being an import-dependent nation.
“We must produce what we need,” he said.
The President urged State governors to key into the plan and develop their own strategies that will lead them to real growth.
In his speech at the event, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo-Udoma, noted that President Buhari has shown deep commitment to bringing about positive change to the country in a fundamental way, adding that the ERGP is a fulfillment of the President’s pledge to strengthen the Nigerian economy.
According to Udo-Udoma, the ERGP puts 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.”
The Minister pointed out that most of the initiatives in the plan had been captured in the 2017 budget proposal which is currently before the national assembly.
He also revealed that the President has given approval for the establishment of a unit in the presidency that will monitor the implementation of the plan.
Speaking on behalf of state governors, chairman of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF, Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State said that the launch of the ERGP is an important milestone in the economic management of the country.
He added that all the 36 governors will take ownership of the plan and ensure its implementation as it concerns other levels of government.
The launch was attended by all members of the executive cabinet as well as top government functionaries.
Senate President Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives,Yakubu Dogara, and the national chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, John Odigie-Oyegun, were also in attendance.