The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Thursday, said that the revitalisation of fertiliser blending plants had saved the country over $200 million annually in foreign exchange and over N60 billion in budgetary provisions for fertiliser subsidies.
Mr Osinbajo stated this in Abeokuta while delivering his keynote address at the 17th Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Panning.
The occasion was organised by the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning in conjunction with Ogun government while the Minister for Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma represented Mr Osinbajo.
The programme has as theme: ” Accelerating the Implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP): The Role of Stakeholders. ”
Mr Osinbajo noted that the present administration, headed by President Muhammadu Buhari, was proud of the successes recorded in the agricultural sector.
He explained that the development had made it possible for the purchase of fertiliser at prices up to 30 per cent cheaper than previously available, adding that the country was also importing less rice, today, than it did few years ago.
The vice president said that the ERGP was different from other plans introduced by previous administrations, because it contained clearly defined objectives, priorities and targets.
“Indeed, I am glad to note the partnerships that some states like Kebbi and Lagos have entered into in a bid to support the agricultural development and food security objective of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).
“I am aware that the National Committee on Export Promotion is implementing a plan to enhance export promotion and economic diversification in line with the Zero Oil Plan (ZOP) initiative.
“We have equally budgeted N44.2 billion in the 2018 Budget for the establishment of Special Economic Zones in the country six geo-political zones to drive local manufacturing and exports.
“We are also paying close attention to the Mining sector by reinforcing the Mining Regulatory Agency. About N644 million has been voted for this in the 2018 budget.
“We are ready to set up a National Gold Purchase Scheme. The CBN is also advancing discussions on the modalities for gold purchase toward enhancing liquidity in the sector,” he said.
He reiterated the present administration’s resolve to continue to promote good governance, saying that it was an important enabler of economic growth and development.
Mr Osinbajo noted that the Federal Government was institutionalising reforms that focused on intensifying efforts to detect diversion of public resources to private wealth, and punishing culpable institutions and individuals.
“In addition to recovery of huge sums looted by unpatriotic Nigerians and properties acquired with ill-gotten monies, over N3 trillion has been brought into the Treasury Single Account (TSA) since June 2015.
“The accounts of revenue generating agencies are being audited to ensure full compliance with statutory and legal provisions on the generation and remittance of revenues to government.”
Governor Ibikunle Amosun, in his remarks, commended the organisers of the programme, saying that it would go a long way in boosting the economy of the country.
He lauded the President for his timely restructuring of the economy.