ERGP: FG Encourages Child Spacing To Reduce Population Growth

 

The Federal Government says it is engaging critical stakeholders such as traditional and religious leaders to advise their members on child spacing.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, said this on Tuesday at the Nigeria Economic Summit meeting which took place in Abuja.

According to her, the increase in the nation’s population was found to be one of the ‘great challenges’ in the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), hence the need to curb the “exponential population growth”.

She said, “We have been engaging traditional rulers and other leaders. Specifically, we have found out that to be able to address one of the great challenges that we identified in the ERGP, which is the growth in our population, we need to engage these institutions”.

In a tweet on Wednesday, the minister also cleared the air on reports that the government had plans to implement a policy that limits the number of children a mother can have, saying, “We never said we are placing a cap on childbirth.”

“What is child spacing? This is a healthy practice of waiting between pregnancies”.

 

Ahmed also spoke about the government’s efforts in creating more jobs for youths.

She listed the attainment of 7,000 megawatts of electricity as a major milestone in empowering youths with small businesses.

FG’s Growth Plan ‘Doesn’t Fully Reflect People’s Needs’, Says Bill Gates

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates wants the Federal Government to prioritise human capital over physical capital

 

Philanthropist and Founder of Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates on Thursday in Abuja faulted part of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

Gates, the Co-Chairman of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said the implementation of the ERGP is at odds with the needs of Nigerians.

The ERGP, which was launched by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2017, is a medium-term plan for 2017-2020, that sets out an ambitious roadmap to achieve a seven percent growth rate for the country by 2020.

It is aimed at restoring economic growth while leveraging the ingenuity and resilience of Nigerians.

 

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates and President Muhammadu Buhari inside the Presidential Villa

 

But Gates, while delivering a speech at the special and expanded National Economic Council on Investment in Human Capital in Abuja, suggested the plan got part of its priorities wrong.

“The Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies investing in our people as one of three strategic executives, but the execution priorities don’t fully reflect people’s needs – prioritising physical capital over human capital,” he said.

According to Gates, Nigeria can only maximise its enormous potential when citizens are well equipped. As such, he expects the government to prioritise human capital development.

“Nigeria has unmatched economic potentials but what becomes of that potential depends on the choices you make as Nigeria’s leaders. The most important choice you can make is to maximise your greatest resource – the Nigerian people.

 

“Nigeria will thrive when every Nigerian is able to thrive, If you invest in their health, education and opportunities, the human capital that we are talking about today, then that will lay the foundation for sustained prosperity,” Gates said.

Without human capital development, the billionaire believes there will be “a sharp limit on how much the country can grow”.

He stressed the need for the country to act fast by analysing the state of country’s health sector.

“Much of Nigeria still looks like a low-income country. Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth,” he said.

“With the fourth-worst maternal mortality rate in the world, ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, and Chad. One in three Nigerian Children is chronically malnourished.”

African Development Bank Denies Cancelling Nigeria’s $400m Loan

AFDB, Abia

The African Development Bank has said that it is strongly in support of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Nigerian Government refuting earlier claims that it has called off $400m loans to Nigeria.

Director, Communication and External Relations of AfDB, Victor Oladokun, in a statement on Tuesday, said AfDB says it ”strongly supports the ERGP and efforts to stem corruption and strengthen fiscal consolidation and efficiency.”

The AfDB in the statement added that AfDB is highly encouraged by the economic recovery of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Ogun Gets AFDB Support For Critical Sector Development

“The African Development Bank wishes to categorically refute the statement that it has “called off loans to Nigeria”, as reported in Reuters and credited to Vice President Amadou Hott.

“The African Development Bank is highly encouraged by the Economic Recovery of Nigeria from the recession and salutes the government’s efforts towards diversification of the economy.

“The Bank also strongly supports the Economic and Growth Recovery plan of the government and efforts to stem corruption and strengthen fiscal consolidation and efficiency,” the statement read.

Oladokun explained further that apart from the $600 million loan approved by the Board of the AfDB, an additional $400 million support could be considered to support Nigeria’s economy.

“In November 2016, the Board of the African Development Bank approved a $600 million loan to support Nigeria’s efforts to cope with macroeconomic and fiscal shocks that arose from the massive decline in the price of crude oil.

“An additional $400 million support could be considered, if requested and approved by the Board, as part of a larger coordinated effort with other development partners, including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.”

The statement added that the African Development Bank is in consultations with the government on how best to continue its support for Nigeria’s laudable Economic and Growth Recovery Plan through investment projects that will help address existing structural challenges, including infrastructure, power, agriculture and support to boost the private sector and jobs creation.

The Bank assures the Nigerian government of its full support for its continued reforms to diversify the economy and boost economic growth and development.

Edo Govt To Unveil Economic Plan At Alaghodaro Summit

Edo Govt To Unveil State's EGRP At Alaghodaro Summit
File photo

The Edo State Government is set to unveil an economic blueprint fashioned after the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP) of the Federal Government at the Alaghodaro Investment Summit.

According to the government, the 168-page EGRP document covers years 2017-2020 and has been described by economic experts as a well-articulated set of guiding principles for the economic management.

At the summit, the Godwin Obaseki-led administration would showcase its ambitious agricultural programmes that gave birth to the Edo Fertiliser and Chemical Company, which was commissioned by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Auchi, to boost the local production of fertiliser in the state.

The Edo Fertiliser Plant and Chemical Company Limited is a public-private venture which has the capacity to produce about 60,000 metric tons of fertiliser per annum.

Also to be exhibited at the investment summit is the Edo State Saro Farm in Sobe, Owan West Local Government Area of the state.

Governor Obaseki said the maize farm was part of his administration’s accelerated agriculture initiative to boost job creation in the state, noting that at least 50,000 agricultural jobs would be created before the end of the year in the state.

According to him, the first phase of the initiative targets job creation for 1,000 farmers through the cultivation of 5,000 hectares of maize farms across five local government areas of the state.

Similarly, the government said the Edo Industrial Park which has received positive reviews by development analysts would top discourses at panel and technical sessions during the three-day Alaghodaro Investment Summit in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

It said it was making efforts to remove barriers to trade and investment in the state which included the signing into law of the Private Property Protection Law.

ERGP Is Entering A New Phase, Says Udoma

ERGP Is Entering A New Phase, Says Udoma
Udo Udoma

The Federal Government says the implementation of its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) is entering a new phase.

This is coming from the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, as global commendations continue to trail the government’s economic plan.

He made the disclosure on Tuesday in his address at the 23rd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

“We are ensuring that our annual budgets are aligned with the ERGP so that government spending is driven by the plan; it is very important that they must be driven by the plan,” Udoma said.

“In addition, we have set up a special implementation unit to ensure effective delivery of the plan and we’ve also engaged staff to drive that process.”

He also informed that the Federal Government would follow the Malaysian model by establishing a series of economic implementation micro-labs.

According to the minister, the labs would bring key state and non-state actors, including young Nigerians in parts of the country together to localise investments.

He said, “In the coming weeks, we will be running sector-focus Malaysian style labs. These labs are intended to bring all relevant stakeholders, whether in the public or private sectors together. We will assemble youths, we will come together into weeks of intensive working sessions to brainstorm on practical steps to overcoming any identified challenges in the selected area.”

“The central objective of these labs will be to bring in private capital to finance projects across the country and you will be hearing more about these labs because we will be inviting many of you to participate in these labs,” Udoma added.

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.

Japanese Corporations Indicate Interest To Invest In Nigeria

Heads of Japanese corporations have expressed interest in locating factories and projects in Nigeria following their evaluation of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

Citing the work of the Presidential Council on ease of doing business in Nigeria, the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, stressed that Nigeria is a prime business destination, adding that Nigerians must benefit holistically from new investments.

Japan’s ambassador to Nigeria, Sadanobu Kusaoke, however stated that while the Federal Government’s plan excites investors, they are closely watching the 2017 budget formulation process before making final assessments.

FG Unveils Economic Recovery Plan For 2017-2020

FG Outlines Economic Recovery Plan For 2017-2020The Federal Government says the four-year Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) will help to stabilise Nigeria’s economy.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, told reporters on Tuesday that the four-year plan would focus on how to increase government’s revenues, in order to achieve its intended results.

Senator Udoma hinted that government was already working on tax review initiatives for the purpose of revenue enhancement.

The ERGP was formally launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on April 5, 2017 at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

President Buhari To Launch ERGP 2017-2020

Buhari Extends Return To NigeriaNigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, will formally launch the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 on Wednesday, April 5.

A statement issued on Tuesday by the President’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, revealed that the ceremony will take place at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

The statement explained that the launch is “in furtherance of the current administration’s drive to sustain and build on the successes so far recorded in tackling corruption, improving security and revamping the economy.

“The Medium-Term ERGP, which had been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), has amongst its broad strategic objectives: restoring sustainable, accelerated inclusive growth and development; investing in the people; and building a globally competitive economy”.

The ERGP, which unveils a road map for Nigeria’s economic recovery, growth and sustainable development, was made public on March 7, while President Buhari was on his medical vacation in the United Kingdom.

The Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Akpandem James, had said the ceremonial presentation will take place when the President returns from his vacation.

FEC Celebrates Acting President Osinbajo At 60

osinbajo The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has reiterated its commitment to getting Nigeria out of recession before the end of 2017‎.

The resolve was made during the FEC meeting chaired by the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who clocked 60 on Wednesday.

osinbajo2

Although members of the Council may not have rehearsed very well, they honoured Professor Osinbajo with a warm song.

The meeting was brought to a close with the cutting of the birthday cake as some of the ministers joined the Acting President in a photo session.

osinbajo1

Briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, said the 2017 budget has been structured to pull Nigeria out of recession.

The Minister added that the government was anxious to get the budget passed in order to begin its implementation.

He also noted that the release of the budget would fast-track the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) recently released by the Ministry of Budget.

The Council thereafter, approved the contract for the construction of the Greater Abuja Water Supply Project at the cost of $470 million.

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Mohammed Bello, stressed the importance of the project to provide potable water to residents of the greater part of the FCT.

FG Releases Economic Recovery Plan

FG Releases Economic Recovery Plan (ERGP)The Federal Government has released the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which unveils a road map for Nigeria’s economic recovery, growth and sustainable development.

This was according to a statement issued on Tuesday by the Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Akpandem James.

According to the statement, the development of the plan went through a rigorous process including wide consultation and robust engagements with stakeholders from a range of relevant fields.

They include: economic experts from the public and private sectors, academia, the Organised Private Sector, Civil Society groups, Organised Labour, sub-regional governments, International Development Partners (including the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and African Development Bank), the National Economic Council (NEC) and the National Assembly.

The statement hinted that the Plan has been approved by the Federal Executive Council, adding that its ceremonial presentation would take place when President Muhammadu Buhari returns from vacation.

Achieving Structural Economic Change

The statement read: “The core vision of the Plan is one of sustained inclusive growth. There is an urgent need as a nation to drive structural economic transformation with an emphasis on improving both public and private sector efficiency.

“The aim is to increase national productivity and achieve sustainable diversification of production, to significantly grow the economy and achieve maximum welfare for the citizens, beginning with food and energy security.

“The Plan envisages that by 2020, Nigeria would have made significant progress towards achieving structural economic change with a more diversified and inclusive economy. Overall, the Plan is expected to deliver on Five key broad outcomes namely: a stable macroeconomic environment, agricultural transformation and food security, sufficiency in energy (power and petroleum products), improved transportation infrastructure and industrialisation focusing on small and medium scale enterprises.

“Realising that the country’s economy would remain on a path of decline if nothing was immediately done to change the trajectory, the present administration, when it assumed office, embarked on strategic moves to halt the trend and redirect the course of the country’s economy and growth process.

A Knowledge-Based Economy

“The process started with the development of the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for the 2016 Budget of Change as a short-term intervention. The ERGP, a Medium Term Plan for 2017 – 2020, builds on the SIP and has been developed for the purpose of restoring economic growth while leveraging the ingenuity and resilience of the Nigerian people.

“The Plan seeks to eliminate the bottlenecks that impede innovations and market based solutions, recognises the need to leverage Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to build a knowledge-based economy, and is consistent with the aspirations of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“The ERGP differs in several ways from previous strategies and plans as it:

  • is anchored on focused implementation which is at the core of the delivery strategy over the next four years;
  • outlines bold initiatives such as ramping up oil production to 2.5mbpd by 2020, privatising selected public enterprises/assets, and revamping local refineries to reduce petroleum product imports by 60 percent by 2018;
  • builds on existing sectoral plans such as the National Industrial Revolution Plan and the Nigeria Integrated Infrastructure Master-plan;
  • signals a changing relationship between the public and private sector based on close partnership.
  • utilises the value of the merger of budget and planning functions into one Ministry to create a better and stronger link between annual budgets and the ERGP; and
  • provides for strong coordination with the States to ensure that the Federal and sub-regional governments work towards the same goals.

Vision Of Inclusive Growth

“The thinking behind the development of the Plan was driven by several fundamental principles, including a focus on tackling constraints to growth; leveraging the power of the private sector and promoting national cohesion and social inclusion, as well as allowing markets to function.

“The Plan has three broad strategic objectives which are expected to help achieve the vision of inclusive growth: restoring growth, investing in the people, and building a globally competitive economy.

“The ERGP focuses on achieving macroeconomic stability and economic diversification by undertaking fiscal stimulus, ensuring monetary stability and improving the external balance of trade.

“The delivery mechanism has been identified as a major determining factor in the successful implementation of the Plan. The implementation strategy therefore focuses on prioritising the identified strategies, establishing a clear system of accountability for well-defined assignment of responsibilities, setting targets and developing detailed action plans, allocating resources to prioritised interventions, creating an enabling policy and regulatory environment, developing an effective monitoring and evaluation system to track progress, and using effective communication strategies”.

FG Denies Recommendation To Raise N5tn From Sale Of Assets

Assets Sale, Economy Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGPThe Federal Government has distanced itself from reports indicating that it is planning to raise about five trillion Naira from the sale of assets in the next four years.

The government made the declaration on Tuesday in a statement issued by the Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Akpandem James.

Mr James noted that some publications had claimed that the projected amount was contained in the Economy Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) being finalised by the Federal Government.

He, however, stated that there was no recommendation to raise such amount of revenue from the sale of assets.

“It has become necessary to state that the ERGP that is being finalised and which will soon be presented to the public, has no recommendation for raising that amount of revenue from sale of assets.

“To achieve the strategic objectives of the plan, 60 strategies have been developed for implementation with four key execution priorities: stabilisation of the macroeconomic environment, agriculture and food security, sufficiency in energy (power and petroleum products) and industrialisation focusing on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises,” the statement said.