The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba has expressed Government’s commitment to building a strong, stable and sustainable economy, predicated on sound economic policies needed to move the nation to the next level.
Prince Clem made this commitment recently, at the meeting of the National Council on Development Planning (NCDP) held in Asaba, Delta State.
He stated that the nation, having been faced with various economic crisis including drop in oil revenues, had to, among other efforts and interventions take immediate steps to stop the economic drift and reverse the impending collapse of the financial system. “One of such significant efforts was putting in place a comprehensive Medium Term Plan – the ERGP whereby a cutting-edge measure aimed at rescuing and repositioning the nation’s economy was adopted”, continued the Minister.
Prince Clem further noted that the nation’s economy at the end of the first four years of President Buhari’s administration had been largely stable with macro-economic indices growth increase from 0.82% in 2018 and 3.01% expected at the end of 2019.
The Minister however, underscored the need to accomplish price stability, economic freedom, economic security, economic efficiency as well as full employment for its citizens, if Nigeria is to maintain a strong and sustainable economy.
He reiterated Government’s desire to reduce social and economic inequality through targeted social investment programmes, health education, technology and improved information system; urging the various States to take steps to domesticate integrated Sustainable Development Goals (iSDGs) in their respective jurisdictions.
The 18th edition of the JPB/NCDP which had its theme “States’ Fiscal Sustainability and Economic Diversification in Nigeria” provided a platform to brainstorm on different issues pertaining to the economy; is expected to contribute to the process of evolving a Successor Plan to the ERGP, through an inclusive and well-articulated National Development Plan 2021 – 2025.
The outcome of the meeting is equally expected to consolidate on the significant gains of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 – 2020.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Governor of Delta State, Senator Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa emphasized the need for fiscal discipline as bedrock for achieving fiscal sustainability. He added that although the Federal Government has set up a regulatory and monitoring mechanism to drive development in states, but he insisted that any financial request for support from any state should be conditional and under certain established parameters.
He urged that annual budgets of States must be derived from its Fiscal Strategy paper which is in line with the Fiscal responsibility law. Governor Okowa further posited that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) must align their projects and programmes with the available resources to eliminate deficit.
The Meeting has in attendance the Vice President of the Federal republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who declared it open, representative of the Hon. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Mohammed K Dikwa and other distinguished dignitaries.
Director Press MBNP
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Report By: PRNigeria.com