Wednesday, April 05, 2017 3:38 PM / MB&NP
Being the welcome address by Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, CON; The Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning at the formal launch of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP:2017-2020) held at the council chambers, State House, Abuja today, Wednesday, April 05, 2017.
It is my pleasure to welcome you all to this brief ceremony at which the President, Muhammadu Buhari, will formally launch the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP: 2017-2020).
Let me thank His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, for his leadership and his inspiration and guidance in the development of this Plan. Right from when he was campaigning he has shown a 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, and thirdly, to repair the broken economy. And when 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 the 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. Indeed, many of the initiatives in the Plan are contained in the 2017 budget proposals which were submitted to the 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 aim is to build a self-reliant economy. A country in which we 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 domesticates 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 to our neighbours, and, indeed, the world. Our aim is to create a culture where Nigerians continuously seek ways to add value to the resources we have been blessed with. In short, our aim is to change Nigeria, and change Nigeria 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 remove, impediments to growth; to make markets function better; and to leverage the power of the private sector. However, this growth is to be achieved without compromising the core values of this 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 7% growth projected by the end of the Plan period. These are namely: (i) Stabilizing the Macroeconomic Environment
(ii) Achievement of Agriculture and Food Security
(iii) Expansion of Energy Infrastructure capacities (power and petroleum),
(iv) Improving Transportation Infrastructure and
(v) Driving Industrialization principally through local and small business enterprises.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, the ERGP is the work of very many people. I would like to specially thank the leadership and membership of the National Assembly; the State Governors and State Commissioners of Planning; our development partners; the members of the private sector; as well as the economists, researchers, members of civil society, labour, members of academia and other development experts who attended the many retreats we held. You all made invaluable contributions and we are grateful to you all.
I would also like to acknowledge all the members of the Economic Management Team, under the leadership of His Excellency, the Vice President, and indeed, all the members of the Federal Executive Council, as this was our collective work. The Ministry of Budget & National Planning simply played a coordinating role.
I would also like to thank the general public for the very positive and encouraging feedback we have been receiving since the ERGP was exposed on our website. However, many of you have been asking the question “How does Government intend to ensure that this Plan is well implemented?” I can assure you that, under the leadership of President Mohammadu Buhari, this Plan will be effectively implemented. Whilst the Ministry of Budget & 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. This is one Plan that will be implemented with vigour, with focus, and with success.
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, let me once again, most warmly welcome you to this brief ceremony where our President, Muhammadu Buhari, will formally launch the Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Thank you all for your attention.