Ministers hold retreat, set to unveil National Economic Blueprint

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Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, has revealed that the government would soon unveil its economic blueprint for the country.

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Following two days of brainstorming in Abuja, organized by Udoma’s ministry, with various teams drawn from the public and private sector, Udoma revealed that the president’s economic vision and Strategic Implementation Plan, drawn up by his ministry, along with vibrant ideas canvassed and analysed at the retreat, would be harmonised and launched at the federal government’s comprehensive economic development programme next month.

“It is helpful to note that the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan will play a signalling role, while also promoting coherence and coordination,” Udoma said.

“In other words, by putting government strategies, directions, policy priorities and intended initiatives in one place, other stakeholders are better able to take their own strategic economic decisions.

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“In addition, economic actors in various sectors will be guided by commonly derived objectives in the plan which promote coordination and prevent duplication and needless dissipation of scarce resources.

“The planning process also provides an opportunity to review the trajectory of the economy, especially in the context of regional and global developments,

“The federal government’s focus on stimulating and revitalising the Nigerian economy is yielding positive results already, especially through the reforms in agriculture, stimulated investment in the solid minerals sector and the ‘Made in Nigeria’ campaign.

“Government’s identification of 45, 000 ghost workers through the Treasury Single Account and the liberalization of fuel supply which curbed daily consumption by 30% and saved $4. 5 million daily expenditure through elimination of false subsidy claims are among the recent economic gains.

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“Nigeria has been grappling with the ‘triple shock of prices, production and power’ for most of 2016, with economic recession, collapse of oil prices and the vandalisation of oil pipelines having a negative effect on electricity and gas supplies.

“This two-day retreat was conceptualised to provide an opportunity for stakeholders from the various sectors of the economy to consult and exchange views on the medium-term economic plan and facilitate enduring macroeconomic stability, economic diversification, ease business competitiveness, enhance social inclusion and assess governance processes towards enhancing rapid economic growth.”

Government officials present at the retreat includes the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Kayode Fayemi; Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu; Minister of State for Health, Dr. Alhassan; Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Hajia Fatima Mede; Special Adviser to the President on National Planning, Alhaji Tijani Abdullahi; and, a Deputy Governor of CBN, Dr. Sarah Alade.

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Eminent experts invited to lead brainstorming sessions includes Bismarck Rewane, Professor Akpan Ekpo, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, Dr. Yemi Kale, Bode Agusto, Professor Olu Ajakaiye, Mansur Ahmed, Mr. Linus Adie, Mr. Segun Awolowo and Dr Yemi Dipeolu, Economic Adviser in the office of the Vice President.

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