Readout of Remarks at Launch of Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP) at the Council Chambers of the State House, Wednesday April 5, 2017
Budget Minister, Udoma Udo Udoma:
He noted that the ERGP is the demonstration of a single-minded commitment to change Nigeria in fundamental way, and a fulfilment of President Buhari’s promise to reinvigorate the Nigerian economy. He also noted that the ERGP brings together in one document all the sectoral plans that the Federal Government has been working on since the inception of the Buhari administration in 2015, and that the Plan’s priorities and initiatives have already been embedded into the 2017 budget proposal, awaiting passage by the National Assembly. He said that the Vision of the Plan is to restore economic growth, invest in Nigerians, and to build a globally competitive economy, and that the Plan will achieve these by focusing on five execution priorities: 1. Stabilizing the macroeconomic environment; 2. Achieving Agriculture and Food Security; 3. Ensuring energy efficiency (especially in power and petroleum products); 4. Improving transportation infrastructure; and 5. Driving industrialization primarily through SMEs.
He highlighted the mantra of the ERGP: ‘Grow what we eat; Use what we make; Produce what we consume’, and elaborated by stating that Nigeria will willingly embrace technology, ideas and investment from everywhere but also ensure that these are all domesticated for use by Nigerians. The goal of the Buhari administration, he emphasized, is to change Nigeria, and change Nigeria for good.
He also highlighted the collective and collaborative nature of the work that produced the ERGP, thanking all the various stakeholders that contributed to the process: Labour, Academia, Civil Society, Economists, National Assembly, State Governments, the Economic Management Team, the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
He noted that the Plan will be effectively implemented, and that to ensure this President Buhari has approved the creation of a Special Delivery Unit in the Presidency, whose task will be to work closely with the Ministyr of Budget and National Planning to remove bottlenecks, drive implementation, and ensure accountability.
Governor of Zamfara State, and Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, Abdulaziz Yari
Governor Yari said that the 36 State Governors will take ownership of the ERGP and ensure implementation at sub-national level. He thanks the President and the Federal Government for the series of interventions aimed at supporting the States and enabling them survive financial hardship: the Bailout (2015), Loan Restructuring (2015), Fiscal Sustainability Plan (FSP; 2016) and the Paris Club Refunds (2016/17).
Speaker House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara
Speaker Dogara noted that the Executive arm of government duly presented the ERGP draft to the National Assembly, for input, and expressed his happiness that most of the National Assembly’s recommendations were incorporated into the final document. He also said that the Administration has earned for itself a reputation as one keen to deal with the causes of issues and problems hitherto deemed intractable.
Senate President, Abubakar Bukola Saraki
He congratulated the President, Vice President and the Economic Management Team (EMT) for putting the ERGP together, noting that today’s launch is testament to “a promise kept.” He noted that a lot of consultations went into the ERGP document, that the Senators were duly consulted and their input and feedback accepted. He pledged, on behalf of the Senators, that the Senate will give the Plan all the support needed for it to work, and ended by again congratulating President Buhari on the launch of the Plan.
President Muhammadu Buhari
The President expressed his delight at aunching the ERGP. He noted that his administration inherited several challenges, and that in his campaigning he acknowledged the difficult situation Nigeria was in and the need to create positive and enduring change. He reiterated that his promise to Nigerians was and is to change Nigeria for good. Also reiterated that his government is committed to delivering on the three key areas campaigned on: Ensuring security, Tackling Corruption and Revitalizing the Economy. He said that the successes in Security and Corruption are already very clear for the world to see; and that Government is approaching Nigeria’s economic challenges with the same will and commitment demonstrated in security and the fight against corruption. He said that the ERGP is an ambitious roadmap to return Nigeria’s economy to sustainable, inclusive and diversified growth, and to transform Nigeria from an import-dependent to a producing economy; a country that grows what it eats and consumes what it produces. He highlighted the role of State Governments in the implementation of the plan, urging them to draw strategic direction from the Plan. He saluted the efforts of the Economic Management Team (EMT) under the leadership of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, for overseeing the drafting of the Plan.