Economic Recovery Must Be Felt By All Nigerians, Saraki Tells Buhari

Senator Bukola Saraki has said that as Nigeria emerge from recession, the economic recovery must be felt on the individual level by all Nigerians.

He said there is the need to take a second look at the relationship between oil and Nigeria’s economy, noting that despite the economic recovery, Nigerian youths are still unemployed.

Saraki, speaking during the presentation of 2018 Budget Proposal by President Muhammadu Buhari to a joint session of the National Assembly, said made-in-Nigeria goods must also be anchored on in the process of implementation of the 2018 Budget.

READ ALSO: UPDATED: President Buhari Proposes N8.612tn Budget For 2018

“The implementation of the 2018 budget must anchor on the #MadeInNigeria project. This should be reflected in government procurements in 2018. We must see to the implementation of the Procurement law, with particular relevance to the part that has to do with support for #MadeInNigeria goods.’

“We must remember that the real gains must be felt on a personal level by the individual, for economic recovery to have meaning. People are seeking to get back to work but cannot find jobs.

“The question on the lips of many Nigerians has been, “How does the recovery translate into tangible economic benefits for me?” We must remember that the real gains must be felt on a personal level by the individual, for economic recovery to have a meaning,” he said.

Saraki also advised president Buhari to review projects signed with private sector service providers that do not favour Nigerians.

“There is the need to review agreements that government has signed with some private sector service providers. Many of these agreements are biased and clearly not in the interest of the country,” he said.

The Senate President said the government should continue to create the enabling environment for private sector businesses to thrive through its policies and spending priorities, adding that it would be in vain if bureaucracy is not eliminated.

“As we strive to start implementing the budget from January, all would be in vain if we do not eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy and speed up the procurement process.’’

Saraki said the implementation of the 2018 Budget will be a defining element of this administration and therefore, all must together to steady the ship of Nigeria’s economic recovery.

“As the country gradually recovers, it is important to reset the fundamentals that drive our economy, so we do not slide back into recession.”

He also commended the efforts of the Buhari-led administration in tackling unemployment saying, immediate steps must be taken to make the 2018 budget an employment-oriented one.

“While I commend your current efforts at tackling unemployment – especially among the youth through Federal Youth Programmes such as #YouWin, #NPower, and YES-Programme deliberate steps must be taken to make the 2018 budget a jobs-oriented one.

“Looking around today, we see that many of our undergraduates are apprehensive about their graduation day; and our National Youth Corps members are not looking forward to the end of the service year, for fear of being tagged ‘unemployed’.”

 

Economic Recovery: Excuses No Longer Acceptable, Says Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo
File Photo: Osinbajo

As the Federal Government strives to improve the economic fortunes of the country, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has warned that excuses will no longer be acceptable in the implementation of the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan.

The Acting President said this on Thursday at the cabinet retreat on ERGP implementation and 2018 budget preparation, according to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant Mr Laolu Akande.

His comments followed a speech by Dr Idris Jala, a former Malaysian government official, who was the guest speaker at the retreat.

Describing the speech as beyond motivational, Professor Osinbajo said, “The challenge is this, the discipline to be unreasonable in our targets and objectives. The discipline of attending the labs diligently and accepting to be locked in a room for as long as it takes to iron out what it is that needs to be done.

“I like the point also that Dr Jala made that the excuse that it won’t work here, the Nigerian factor, or some say exceptionalism or the acceptance of failure before you even start is certainly not tenable anymore.”

According to the Acting President, there is the need for those at the retreat and everyone with a role to play to stay positive and be determined to succeed.

“We simply have to accept that there is nothing Nigerian about failure, because as we know in our personal lives, failure and success are commodities on offer to everyone all over the world and every individual and every country makes a choice of which to buy and I will say on our behalf that we will choose success,” he said.

President Muhammadu Buhari had launched the ERGP on April 5 this year as part of his administration’s efforts to get the country out of recession and position it to achieve seven percent growth by 2020.

Among other things, the ERGP focuses on agriculture; ensuring food security, industrialisation and social investment.

Nigeria’ll Become Self-Sufficient In Rice Production Next Year – Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo Flags Off Lagos-Ibadan New Rail ProjectThe Federal Government says Nigeria will become self-sufficient in rice production by then end of 2018.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made this revelation on Monday while addressing a gathering at The Platform, a yearly conference organised by the Christian Covenant Centre, in Lagos.

“If all goes well, we should be producing all of our own rice by the end of 2018,” he said.

“And if we are able to do so, it means that the substantial part of our foreign exchange that we spend now importing rice will be saved.”

Osinbajo explained at the event that major growth in rice production was the result of the government’s decision to focus on agriculture as part of its efforts to diversify the nation’s economy.

He said, “For us, focusing on agriculture was key. And there are two good reasons; agriculture – the whole agro-allied value chain – is clearly the fastest ways of creating jobs and lifting millions out of poverty.”

According to Osinbajo, considering that the majority of Nigerians are actually poor, subsistence farmers, the government decided that to move them out of poverty, it will need to provide them with the right inputs, especially seedlings, fertilizer, and equipment so that they can actually multiply their yield and make more money.

“So, through the CBN’s anchor borrowers programme, we were able to provide financing for almost 200,000 farmers in the first place and in almost all of the cases, local production has almost tripled,” he said.

“We are now producing close to almost four million tons of rice.”

He said as a result, in 2016, Nigeria imported just about 10 per cent of the amount of rice it imported in 2015.

The Vice President also said the Federal Government was working to improve the ease of doing business in the country.

He said the efforts were captured in four broad categories in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan launched by President Muhammadu Buhari.

2017 Budget: Senate President Saraki Optimistic About Economic Recovery

2017 Budget: Senate President Saraki Optimistic About Economic RecoveryThe Nigerian Senate has adjourned plenary till February 24, 2017, to allow the different committees work on the details of the 2017 budget as presented by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016.

Tagged ‘Budget of Recovery and Growth’, the budget is expected to help Nigeria come out of recession but many have questioned the capabilities of the document to do just that.

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, in an exclusive interview with Channels Television, says the budget is truly a budget of recovery and growth.

He believes the Buhari-led federal government is on the right track with its economic recovery plans to ease the pains caused by the state of the economy.

“The budget is based on a benchmark of 2.2 million barrels a day. The oil price of about $42.5 is realistic – probably it would be much better than that.

“We believe that the revenues will go up. There is a deficit of about 2.3 trillion and still below agreed deficit percentage of 3%,” he said.

Dr Saraki said that the federal government would soon embark on a road show on some of its economic plans.

“The question everybody is asking is that if you look at the capital budget which is 30% of the entire budget, which is also about two trillion, the argument is that it means if we do not raise money, we will not be able to implement the capital expenditure.

“But if you look at the trend, you will see that that is where the economic recovery plan is going.

“The government is going to be on a road show in the next couple of weeks and I’m pretty confident that they will be able to raise the money.

“I think they are looking for a billion dollars on Eurobond and I think they’ll be able to raise it.”