(MINISTRY OF BUDGET AND NATIONAL PLANNING)
the Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma recently
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, expressed hope that the country can achieve 7% GDP
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 recently, the Minister said that the
performance in the first quarter of 2019 is the strongest first quarter growth
since 2015, he stated that the year started with a GDP growth of 2.01%, which 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 equally highlighted a number of measures the
Ministry has put in place to stop the economic decline, which 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
reflate the economy. This led to the increase of capital budget and budgetary
allocations to capital expenditure- from 16.1% in 2015, 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.