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.

2017 Budget: Senate Summons Adeosun, Udoma

2017 Budget: Senate Summons Adeosun, Udoma
File photo

Nigerian Senate has summoned the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, and her counterpart in the Ministry of Budget and Planning, Udo Udoma.

The ministers were summoned to brief the lawmakers on the cause of the inadequate releases and steps being taken to expedite release of funds for the capital component of the 2017 Appropriation Act.

This followed a motion sponsored on Tuesday by the Senator representing Lagos East, Senator Gbenga Ashafa.

The motion was captioned “Inadequate releases in the 2017 budget and the need to expedite releases in order to stimulate the Economy”.

Senator Ashafa cautioned that inadequate releases from the Federal Government to Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to finance their capital projects might return the country to recession.

The Senate, on its Facebook page, quoted Ashafa in his motion as saying: “While the total size of the 2017 budget tagged as the budget of Economic Recovery and Growth is in the sum of N7,441,175,486,758 (Seven Trillion, Four Hundred and Forty-One Billion, One Hundred and Seventy-Five Million, Four Hundred and Eighty-Six Thousand, Seven Hundred and Fifty-Eight Naira), the capital component of the budget is in the sum of N2,177,866,775,867 (Two Trillion, One Hundred and Seventy-Seven Billion, Eight-Hundred and Sixty-Six Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy-Five Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty-Seven Naira) only, for the year ending on December 31, 2017, according to the Appropriation Act of 2017.”

Senator Ashafa, however, expressed concern that since the 2017 budget was assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari in June 2017, only about N310 Billion Naira has been released by the Federal Government to the MDAs as funding for capital projects, a figure he said was too low to stimulate the economy.

He noted that the livelihood of millions of Nigerians is directly connected with the funding of the budget and execution of projects.

The senator explained that the more projects are executed, the more Nigerians would be engaged at various levels of the employment value chain, stressing the need for expedited funding of the capital component of the budget.

Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who seconded the motion, commended Senator Ashafa and urged his colleagues to support the motion.

The lawmakers then resolved to invite Mrs Adeosun and Senator Udoma to appear before the Senate in plenary to brief the Upper House on reasons for the inadequate releases, in accordance to the prayers of the said motion.