Nigerian govt., experts work on new roadmap for economy

PIC.15.2016 BUDGET BREAKDOWN IN ABUJA

A new comprehensive roadmap to be released to Nigerians by December is being worked on by the federal government, an official has said.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, described the document as “expansive and all-inclusive medium term economic development plan (2017 -2019).”

The minister said Nigeria’s top economists and technical experts were drafted to work with officials from relevant government ministries, departments and agencies to develop the document.

At a two-day national economic retreat, Mr. Udoma said the experts and government officials, including those from the public and private sectors, contributed ideas on the proposed economic road map.

Following consultations with the Economic Management Team and partners from the private sector and the academia, the minister said proposals were made on areas to focus on.

These were along five thematic areas, namely macroeconomic policy, economic diversification and growth, competitiveness, job creation and social inclusion, and governance.

Mr. Udoma urged the experts to work with the government in transforming the country’s economy, by making candid and innovative contributions and ideas to ensure the proposals to be included in the final economic recovery and growth plan stood the test of time.

He said since the release of the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) in May, the economic management team has been working on the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) completed in August 2016.

“The MTEF/FSP involved extensive consultations with top economists, the organized private sector, civil society as well as state governors,” he said. “We also developed the Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS) for the large spending ministries. These are all inputs in the 2017 budget.”

Mr. Udoma said in preparing the 2017 budget, government had organized a ministerial retreat presided by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the intention was to bring all the work together as part of a comprehensive medium term plan.

He said the current retreat was to enable extensive consultations on all issues to be captured in the new economic agenda.

“The ideas that are contributed and adopted by each thematic group will be captured in a draft document to be shared in consultation with various groups, including federal and state governments, private sector and development partners,” the minister said.

On suggestions the government did not have an economic agenda, the minister said the administration laid out “a clear economic vision and direction in the President’s 2016 Budget speech as well as in the SIP for the 2016 Budget of Change.”

The SIP, he explained, was anchored on four policy fundamentals: investing in critical infrastructure, embracing the private sector, fostering social inclusion and job creation and improving security and tacking corruption.

The execution and monitoring of these fundamental objectives, he said, were prioritized in six thematic areas, namely policy, security and governance; diversification of the economy; power, rail and roads; oil and gas reforms; ease of doing business and social investment.

Besides, about 34 key policy actions in the SIP were selected for immediate implementation, with “many of these are already yielding results.”

Some of the actions outlined in the SIP included the development of sector road maps in agriculture, solid minerals, water resources and petroleum resources.

He said the SIP, which have since been concluded and launched, would be incorporated in the short-term development, with a more comprehensive medium-term plan involving extensive consultations, to be delivered before the end of the year.


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