What Buhari told his ministers, experts at economic retreat

Photo credit: www.newsflashngr.com
Photo credit: www.newsflashngr.com

I am delighted to be here with you at this Ministerial Retreat on the Economy and the Budget.  The theme of the Retreat which is “Building Inter-ministerial Synergy for Effective Planning and Budgeting in Nigeria” is very apt and timely, especially as we are in the process of developing the 2017 Budget.

Over the years, there has been a mismatch between planned targets and budgetary outcomes at the National and sectorial levels.  The Federal MDAs have not also benefited significantly from working together and building consensus around common national objectives.  This has impeded growth and development of the country.

It is in this context that this Retreat has been designed to discuss issues around the State of the Economy and build consensus amongst Cabinet Members and top Government officials.  The Retreat will also serve as an opportunity to have a general overview of the economy and discuss the framework for the 2017 Budget, its key priorities and deliverables.

This Retreat is coming at a critical time in our economic history, when the Nigerian economy is in a recession, with significant downturn in performance in various sectors.  It is with regard to the importance of this Retreat that I decided to sit through the first part of the session to listen to the views from experienced economists and development experts on how best to implement our plans to rid the country of its oil dependence and to diversify the economy and bring the country out of the current economic recession.

President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with Minister of Budget and Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma at the 2016 Cabinet Retreat on the Economy
President Muhammadu Buhari, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with Minister of Budget and Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma at the 2016 Cabinet Retreat on the Economy

This is in line with our Administration’s determination to lay a solid foundation for growth and development as outlined in the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of our Change Agenda.

Given that this Retreat is a lead-up to the 2017 Budget, my expectation is that we will come out of the these sessions with a determination and common position on how to have improved synergy amongst the various Ministries and Departments for the effective formulation and implementation of the 2017 Budget.

I also trust that the breakout sessions will enable you to discuss extensively amongst yourselves, the details of the four sub-themes and come up with practical solutions on the way forward in order to come out with a set of prioritized projects and programmes that will fit into the 2017 Budget.

In this regard, let me inform you that because of the need to focus on our key priorities, some Ministries may get significantly less capital allocation than they received in 2016, while others may get significantly more.

You may notice that some key non-spending agencies, such as the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the National Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) and the National Pension Commission (PENCOM), are participants at this Retreat.

Ministers at the 2016 Cabinet Retreat on the Economy with President Muhammadu Buhari
Ministers at the 2016 Cabinet Retreat on the Economy with President Muhammadu Buhari

This deliberate inclusion underscores the commitment of this Administration to leverage on private sector resources, through Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and other arrangements, in order to augment the scarce budgetary resources at our disposal and to accelerate investments in building critical infrastructure.

Indeed, the challenges we face in the current recession require ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, to deploy strategies that involve engaging meaningfully with the private sector, to raise the level of private sector investment in the economy as a whole.

We are confident that the level of private investment will grow as we are determined to make it easier to do business in Nigeria by the reforms we are introducing under the auspices of the Presidential Committee on Ease of Doing Business.

Let me reiterate that this Government will continue to strategize on how we can turn the current challenges into opportunities for our nation and especially for our vibrant youth on whose shoulders lies the future of this nation.  This is why we have embarked on measures and actions that will open up the opportunities we have seen in the Power, Housing, Agriculture, Mining, Trade and Investment, Information Communication Technology (ICT) Sectors, Tourism, Transport and other sectors.

I wish to reassure its teeming youth that this Government would remain steadfast in its effort to ensure greater progress and prosperity for you.

While Government is taking the lead in the task of repositioning our economy for Change, we cannot achieve this completely by ourselves. We will need, and we ask for the support and cooperation of the private sector’s domestic and foreign investors, the States and Local Governments, the National Assembly and the Judiciary as well as all well-meaning Nigerians in this important task. We are confident that working together, we shall succeed.

Finally, I trust that the cabinet members will learn from the experiences of the Resource persons and facilitators to prioritise their sector programmes and projects to bring the country out of the current economic recession and place it on the path of growth and development.

Ministers and Cabinet members at the 2016 Cabinet Retreat on the Economy with President Muhammadu Buhari
Ministers and Cabinet members at the 2016 Cabinet Retreat on the Economy with President Muhammadu Buhari

I therefore urge the Honourable Ministers and other senior government officials here present, to actively participate in the Second Technical Session, which I believe will provide you with deeper insight into the complex issues that will open opportunities for you to identify critical priority projects and programmes for the 2017 Budget.

At this juncture, may I formally recognize and acknowledge the presence of the array of experts invited to serve as resource persons and facilitators at this Retreat.  I am confident that Ministers and Senior Government officials will benefit immensely from your expertise and wealth of experience.

I wish you all fruitful deliberations and look forward to receiving the report of the Retreat.

Thank you.

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  • evidence

    You need sound economic policies and you need to put an end to your archaic and opaque policies not meaningless retreat.

  • Es3

    Approaching 2 years of Buhari/APC government, no singular fiscal policy that should interplay with monetary policies to anchor the Nigerian economy at a time many economies over the world at struggling??? Why won’t there be economic recession and even depression in Nigeria???

    All there is on ground till date are exclusively the policies and programmes of Jonathan’s government, or what is left of it after they were aborted abruptly, badly bastardized and cannibalized by this government?!!!

    They are now attempting to return to them one after the other as a dog to it’s vomit!!! What a shame of a government!

  • donMe$$i

    The look on his face says it all.
    He has NO CLUE on what he is reading.
    All discerning Nigerians know Nigeria’s descent into the Abyss started the very day the military(REPRESENTED BY BUHARI) overthrew a DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GWAMNENT.

  • farouk

    A lawyer was appointed minister for budget and planning and some f00ls were praising and worshipping their gOD sai baba.
    What brand of stupidity are they smoking I wonder?

  • FreeNigeria

    Buhari oooooooo, Nigeria don buy bad market oooooooo with ostrich neck president

  • Truth Justice Equity

    What I think that buhari should have done by now instead of this endless stories should be to sincerely offer a heartfelt apologies to Nigerian nation and citizens, confess his thoughtless policies ,actions and inactions that have wrecked wrecked untold havoc on Nigeria and then renew his commitments to turn a new leaf ,put forward a clear and unambiguous road map to putting Nigeria on a solid path to recovery and give hope to Nigerians.
    As a necessity,buhari must acknowledge his betrayal of the broad based national trust and goodwill that greeted his emergence and swearing in,he must acknowledge his malicious acts of cheating and marginalization of some parts of Nigeria through his myopic statements of 97%+5% ,coupled with his acts of discriminatory appointments.buhari must disband his infantile, myopic, clueless and hollow minded team that have overwhelmed Nigeria with their mediocrity and laziness of the mind ,and appoint intelligent and broad based citizens with high capacities and know how not minding their tribe,religion or political leaning ,to help him pull Nigeria out of the slum where buharis myopic leadership have cast our nation. Buhari must court the friendship, loyalty,love and admiration of all the geological zones of Nigeria through righting the grievous wrongs he has done to some of them especially SS/SE by discriminating ,cheating, shortchanging and marginalizing them in his conduct as the President of Nigeria.
    If buhari abandons doing the needful and continued with his lamentations,blame games,myopic hallucinations,false promises,lies ,falsehoods and blackmail of Jonathan, he must remember that history will be too harsh on him and his generation for using the grace given to him by God and Nigerians even at his old age ,to undermine, destroy and supervise the demise of Nigerian nation. May God give him the grace to retrace his steps and do the needful before it is too late for him. Ok

    • Ifeanyi

      I was a buhari fanatic,still a buharist and I agree withvyou almost completely,except the “blackmail of Jonathan” part.
      PMB is loosing the goodwill like GEJ did.History will not forgive him

  • Omoba1

    The president has admitted that they are clueless and that’s the reason for the retreat. We certainly hope good policies will come out of the retreat.

  • woman leader1

    This country will be great.

  • adekunle akindude

    Dear Mr president many of these ministers and experts are already planning their exits from your government to build a new party Wake up Mr President and get people who will be of help to the Nation My people are sufferring How long will it take to run down a government with very high hopes only to dash our hopes suddenly
    I believed in you and still do But please you need to change positions and reshuffle your cabinet make Dr Fayemi the finance minister or economic driver and put Adeosun in women affairs or some other lesser position Remove CBN Governor immediately He is a con man and they are making more money than the agarashas in the foreign exchange market
    Let the money sent from Nigerians abroad be in circulation instead of in few individual hands Make Nigeria work again Enough of these experts that have led us where we are and things are still getting worse I rest my case

  • front man

    Nigeria shall be great again