Nigeria to come out of recession this year

By Aanya Igomu

Nigeria’s economy will come out of recession this year, based on the ongoing implementation of the 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma stated this when he made a presentation to the National Working Committee members of Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress, APC at the Party’s National Secretariat in Abuja.

Senator Udoma says “the 2017-2020 ERGP and the 2017 National Budget is based on the manifesto of the APC and campaign promises made by President Muhammadu Buhari during the 2015 elections.’’

Economy in bad shape
Citing high insecurity, massive corruption, unemployment, poor infrastructure, import dependent economy and other structural weaknesses, the Minister stated that President Buhari’s administration inherited an economy that was in a very bad shape.

He explained that the medium-term plan for 2017-2020 was developed through an extensive consultative process.

“ERGP builds on previous plans, including sectoral plans and captures the key promises of the APC. It contains bold actions required to tackle the current challenges and build a more resident economy” the minister explained.

He said the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) outlook and major deliverables include;

  • 4.6 per cent average real GDP growth rate over the plan period reaching 7 per cent by 2020.
  • Crude Oil output of 2.2 mbpd by 2017 rising to 2.5mbpd in 2020.
  • 23% unemployment rate by 2020 from 14.2% in Q4 2016.
  • Agriculture average annual growth rate of 6.9% over the Plan period.
  • Single digit inflation rate by 2020 from 6% in December 2016.
  • At least 10GW of operational electricity capacity by 2020.
  • Over 15 million direct jobs would be created by 2020 in agriculture, manufacturing, and construction among other sectors.
  • Self sufficiency in rice and wheat in 2018 and 2020, respectively.
  • Manufacturing sector average annual growth of 8.5%, peaking at 6% by 2020.
  • 60% reduction in imports of refined petroleum products by 2018 and net exporter of refined crude by 2020.

“In implementing the ERGP, a large amount of the capital provision in the 2017 Budget is directed at projects that are aligned with the core execution priorities of the ERGP,’’ Senator Udoma stressed.

He called on the Party’s support to ensure delivery of the Plan’s objectives starting with the 2017 Budget.

“Implementation of the 2017 Budget will be targeted at achieving the objectives of the ERGP and delivering on the promises of the APC and of Mr. President.

“As a ministry, we will continue to strengthen our monitoring and evaluation framework by covering physical inspection/verification as well as Impact Assessment of projects/programme implemented by MDAs,’’ he stated.

Senator Udoma said; “the ERGP is a plan for all Nigerians and we need the cooperation of all for its success.

“Particularly, the support of the Party’s hierarchy is required to ensure delivery of the Plan’s objectives starting with the 2017 Budget.”

Rebuilding the economy
The APC National Chairman, Mr. John Oyegun noted that the 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) was fundamental in rebuilding and strengthening of the foundation of country’s economy.

“The Plan is fundamental because it is the basis for which the rebuilding and strengthening of the foundation of this nation is going to be based.

“As a Party, when we speak on the state of the economy, it must be based on knowledge and fact. With this presentation, we will be able to say three year from now everything being equal, this is where we are likely to be,” he said.

Mercy Chukwudiebere