The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma has expressed hope that the country can achieve 7% GDP growth target.
Senator Udoma stated this on Tuesday in Abuja during an interactive session with the press while giving an overview of the achievements of the Ministry since the inception of this administration in 2015.
Udoma said, ‘’The President has indicated that he intends to stay focused on the implementation of the ERGP so as to ensure that we can achieve the 3.0 % growth target for this year. It is my hope that the seeds we are currently sowing will propel us to achieve our 7% GDP growth target in the course of Mr. Presidents’ second term".
On the latest GDP numbers just released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday, the Minister said that the performance in the first quarter of 2019 is the strongest first quarter growth since 2015, as well as stating that starting the year with a GDP growth of 2.01% is encouraging because the first quarter of the year often records the slowest growth in GDP.
He also said that the focus of the NEXT LEVEL agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari will be on job creation for the teeming youths of Nigeria.
He highlighted a number of measures the Ministry has put in place to stop the economic decline that the country faced during the early days of the Buhari administration.
These Include, the introduction of an expansionary budget in the 2016 fiscal year christened the Budget of Change, development of the ERGP, implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Efficiency Unit within the Ministry of Finance and the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit.
Other initiatives include the Whistle Blowing Policy, the Integrated Payroll Personnel System (IPPIS) and the Investors’ and Exporters Foreign Exchange window by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
According to the Minister an important strategy the Ministry embarked on in order to exit recession was to seek to reflate the economy, this according to him was why they increased the capital budget and budgetary allocations to capital expenditure- from 16.1% in 2015 to 30.2% in 2016, 31. 7 % in 2017, 31.5% in 2018 and 26% in 2019- with priority given to the key execution priorities of the ERGP.
He added that the Ministry of Finance was able to release, for capital spending, the sum of 1.2 trillion under the 2016 Budget, the sum of N1.58 trillion under the 2017 budget, and as at 8th May, 2019, the sum of NI.55 trillion has been released under the 2018 Budget.
He stated that the implementation of the ERGP resulted in the economy exiting recession in the second quarter of 2017 and returning subsequently to the path of growth with most economic indices showing a positive momentum.
Tuesday, May 21, 2019