The Federal Government of Nigeria is set to unveil a new four years economic road map known as Nigeria Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP), 2017-2020. The Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma disclosed this in Lagos, at a Breakfast Seminar for Chief Finance Officers (CFO) of Companies organized by KPMG.
According to him the draft document of the economic plan will be available in early December and formally launched by Mr President before the end of the year.
Sharing his thought on the 2017 budget and also taking reactions and input from stakeholders, he emphasized that the federal government reforms and initiatives which will be reflected in the 2017 Budget, are being brought together in a single document, that will present a coherent summary of Nigeria short and medium term economic plans for the period 2017-2020, specifically by putting government strategies, directions, policy priorities and intended initiatives in one place, that will enable other stakeholders to take their own strategic economic decisions.
The minister who said he cannot speak on the 2017 Budget because it has not yet been submitted to the National Assembly, explained that the good news is that the budget is almost ready. We are almost through with our consultations with the National Assembly on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, and the outlines of the 2017 Budget, and will soon be submitting it to the National Assembly for their consideration.
Without giving anything away I can assure you that the Budget will be targeted at stimulating private sector investment. This Government believes that it is only by partnering with the private sector that we can propel the economy out of recession and onto the path of sustainable growth.
He pointed out that the NERGP will focus on five broad areas, which includes, (1) Macroeconomic Policy: will discuss how we better coordinate our fiscal and monetary policies; and also identify initiatives to improve revenues, to reduce costs, and achieve greater macroeconomic stability. (2) Economic Growth & Diversification: will look at short and medium term initiatives to drive growth in the non-oil sector, especially in agriculture, manufacturing, solid mineral and services. (3) Competiveness: will identify specific measures to improve Nigeria business climate, and also drive investment in the power and transport sectors.
The NERGP will also suggest ways in which we can leverage private sector capital to invest in our infrastructure. (4) Social Inclusion & Jobs: will identify social programmes which can be implemented by the government to support the poor and the vulnerable. (5) Governance & Enablers: will examine a range of cross-cutting issues, including governance, security, human capital development, coordination with states, which will be needed to ensure success of the NERGP.
On whether the proposed new economic policy will not go the way of others, Senator Udoma noted that this will not be just another plan. There will be a major emphasis on implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this NERGP. Given the current challenging economic environment, it is planned to set up a special delivery unit to drive implementation of the NERGP.
Adding that as part of process of finalising the plan, a retreat was held on 10-11 November 2016 to review specific initiatives which could be considered in the report. The retreat had participants from the private sectors, academia, civil society groups, and from across the federal government.
To further enrich the plan, additional consultations with various stakeholders such as state governments, development partners, the National Assembly and the private sector are ongoing.