FG REITERATES COMMITMENT TO PROVIDING SAFETY NETS FOR ALL NIGERIANS

The Honourable Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has reiterated Federal government’s commitment towards providing social safety nets for all Nigerians.

The Minister made this known in Abuja at the occasion of the launch of the Africa Social Safety Nets Report by the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO) and World Bank recently.

 In her keynote address at the event, Mrs. Zainab stated that with the launch of the social safety nets, Africa report will arm the country with new knowledge and tools, to identify new opportunities, as well as significantly adopt all that is necessary to sustain quality service delivery, while also stating in her preview report that a lot of interventions are going on in Africa which includes - social registry currently now used in 23 countries and also being developed in 13 countries, strengthening coordination among programmes and investing in shared systems to reduce the duplication of efforts and cost inefficiencies, a shift towards greater use of cash in social safety nets and also an increasing number of programme putting emphasis on building the productive capacity and resilience of beneficiary households.

She further noted in her report that, there is an increased focus on promoting human capital development alongside growth in social safety nets in urban areas, adding that the report highlighted the fact that social safety nets are widely used as a short-term response 00to shocks.

The present administration had established the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) in 2016, to tackle poverty and hunger across the country.

This represents a paradigm shift from past approaches, with a cluster of programmes aimed at ensuring a more equitable distribution of resources to vulnerable populations, including children, youth and women, and adopts the life cycle approach that ensures no age bracket is excluded. With this, the federal government’s budget for the social sector including health, education, youths and sports took a quantum leap from N814 million in 2015 to N1.24 trillion in 2019, this is in addition to the Federal Government special intervention programmes of N350 billion.

The minister stated that in line with the Economic Recovery And Growth Plan (ERGP), the National Social Protection Policy (NSPP) and the National Social Investment Programme are all initiated by this Government to give life of dignity to all Nigerians especially the poor, stating clearly that without the human capital, all other investments and all capital are at risk of failure and that the government is very much aware of this.

Mrs. Zainab reiterated that social investments is a cardinal feature of Government as it seeks to strengthen coordination with sub-national government and guarantee cohesion between the governed and the government, while throwing more light in the report that West Africa has the largest number of cash transfer programmes in Africa. This implies that we must find a long-time solution to poverty as cash transfers cannot be sustained; it therefore means that we must have a long-time plan to build human plan and resilience of our people.

“The midterm focus will be to have in place a universal health coverage for all, scale up our school lunch programme for all primary school pupils and provide scholarship for all students in tertiary education” she added.

Victoria Agba-Attah

Director Information, MBNP

September 20, 2019

 

 

NES#25: COMPETITIVE PRIVATE SECTOR LED ECONOMY WILL ENSURE PROSPERITY FOR NIGERIANS- FINANCE MINISTER

The Honourable Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has underscored the significance of a competitive private sector-led economy, saying that it will ensure economic prosperity for all Nigerians.

The Minister made this assertion on Monday, 16 September 2019 in Abuja at the Media Briefing for the forthcoming 25th Nigeria Economic Summit NES#25 slated for 7th -8th October 2019 in Abuja.

Explaining on the choice of this year’s summit theme tagged “Nigeria 2050: Shifting Gears”, Mrs. Ahmed said that “shifting Gears emphasizes the imperatives for the country to move to a more robust competitive private sector economy while discussing the implication of the projected population of the country hitting over 400 million by 2050 with 65% of the population under the age of 35”.

She maintained that this year’s Summit would be setting a new agenda for Nigeria to key into the 4th Industrial Revolution, saying the Summit’s Sub-themes will focus on achieving rapid industrialization, transforming education and managing demography. “The Summit will also have an on-site simulation of “Life as an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)” which will recreate the living conditions of IDPs in the camp”, the Minister added.

According to the Minister, the Summit has become a veritable platform for dialogue between the leaders of public and private sectors that will also provide opportunity for interaction, sharing thoughts and building consensus on issues relating to the Nigeria economy.

Enumerating some of the outcomes of the previous Summit, Mrs. Ahmed revealed that recommendation from the Summit paved way for government at the National level to establish the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) and the Executive Orders focusing on Ease of Doing Business aimed at addressing constraints to businesses.

“The implementation of these policies enabled Nigerians to move from 24 places to 146th from 169th position on the ease of doing business ranking of the World Bank. Government is also working on operational, regulatory and legislative interventions to enable the country move to the top 100 on ease of doing business ranking” she added.

The Minister further stated that government has established a Competitiveness Advisory Council and Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in the 6 geo-political zones, as vehicles for partnering with the private sector which is in line with modern trend of providing infrastructure to business clusters to improve and boost economic activities in such zones as found in China and other fast-growing economies.

She explained that government is working towards launching a broad range of sector-specific activities to attract investment and drive growth through improving regulatory efficiency, adding that the Solid Mineral Development Fund (SMOF) is being refocused to de-risk value chains in the mining sector as well as diversify national income streams.

Earlier, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, Chairman of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group NESG said that Nigeria’s projected demographic growth will lead to worsening economic and human development conditions unless we continue at a greater pace to focus on diversifying, deepening and growing our economy at a rate exponentially superior to our population growth.

He also said that only a competitive private sector-led economy can achieve a rising standard of living and economic prosperity for more than 400 million Nigerians, which is the projected population by the year 2050.

 

Victoria Agba-Attah

Director, Information MBNP

September 16th, 2019.

 

FG PROPOSES N9.7 TRILLION BUDGET FOR 2020, PROJECTS GDP GROWTH RATE OF 2.93%

The Federal Government has proposed N9.7trn for the year 2020 budget and projected 2.93% GDP growth for the year 2020.

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs. Zainab Ahmed disclosed this while presenting the draft 2020-2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework/Fiscal Strategy Paper recently in Abuja.

Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said that oil production volume is projected to be an average of 2.18 million barrels per day (mbpd) for 2020, lower than the projected oil production volume of 2.3mbpd for 2019. She also revealed that a lower benchmark oil price of $55/b (against $60/b for 2019) is assumed considering the expected oil glut in 2020, as well as the need to cushion against unexpected price shock.

According to her, “Our real GDP growth projections are rates of 2.93%, 3.35% and 3.85% for 2020, 2021 and 2022, respectively. Mrs. Zainab continued by saying “that though this falls short of the ERGP projection, the trajectory remains the right direction. Personnel cost (inclusive of pension costs) at over N3.0 trillion has continued to rise. The FGN is, however, taking steps to contain rising personnel costs, and the October 2019 deadline by Mr. President for all MDA’s to Implement IPPIS remains sacrosanct”.

Speaking also at the event, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba said that the key thrust of the 2020- 2022 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) is aimed at sustaining growth and diversifying the economy.

He said “ I believe we all have a part to play in this, in fact, the private sector is the engine of economic growth in any developed country, and we all vigorously work towards how the MTEF and successor budgets can enable this effectively thereby providing sustainable jobs in line with the mandate of Mr. President. So, we would be working with the private sector, we see you as our partners and together we would work on the next successor plan”.

He further revealed that the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) which currently anchors the MTEF expires next year and at the appropriate time, the Ministry will require broad deliberations on how to envision the medium and long term plans taking into cognizance the nation’s rising youth population on our social-economic status.

Prince Agba equally emphasized on this administration’s commitment to returning the Nigerian budget to the January -December cycle, saying it is key to giving Nigerians a functional plan within the calendar year.

The Minister reiterated Mr. President’s commitment to lifting one hundred million Nigerians out of poverty in the next ten years, stressing that fiscal resources will be deployed to actualizing this.


Victoria Agba-Attah
Director Information
13th September 2019

FG COMMITTED TO IMPROVED STANDARD OF LIVING FOR NIGERIANS COMPARED TO DEVELOPED ECONOMIES- OSINBANJO

The Federal Government has assured that beyond the high macroeconomics returns being envisaged, the government is committed to improving the standard of living of Nigerians compared to what obtains in developed economies.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, represented by the Honourable Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba disclosed this on Monday in Abuja, while declaring open the 6oth Annual Conference of the Nigerian Economic Society with the theme  “Economic Policies and the Quality of Life in Africa’’.

Professor Osinbajo said that the theme of the Conference “Economic Policies and the Quality of Life in Africa’’ is apt and consistent with Nigeria’s national development priorities, coming especially on the heels of the country’s determination to address the economic and social challenges facing Nigeria.

He further stated that the conference could not have come at a better time than now when the current administration is in the process of developing Successor Long Term as well as the Medium Term Development Plans for the country.

“Conference such as this, therefore, provides the opportunity for exchange of ideas and charting the course for improving the overall economic management both at the Federal and State levels. It will be recalled that the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) was developed in response to the economic challenges at the beginning of this Administration, specifically to address these challenges and ensure inclusiveness’’ Prof. Osinbanjo reiterated.

According to the Vice President, in order to create a more inclusive society that enhances the quality of life, government has continued to implement the Social Investment Programme (SIP), adding that the sum of N500 billion had been appropriated for the scheme since 2016, an action which reflects the continued determination of government to pursue an inclusive society and achieve a pro- poor growth.

The Vice President posited that Government policies such as the N- Power scheme, have seen 500,000 graduates and 26,000 non graduates engaged; “the National Home Grown Feeding program as at March 2019, is feeding over 9.5 million school children across 30 states, with over 101, 913 cooks empowered. The government enterprise and empowerment program has seen to the disbursement of 1.71 million loans to small businesses and farmers across the 36 states and the FCT. 297, 973 households in 26 states across the country are benefiting from the conditional cash Transfer Program”

He stated that Government is also making effort at revitalizing in the textile industry in the country, with Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment working closely with relevant stakeholders to commence a data gathering process in that regard.

He commended the Nigerian Economic Society for organizing the conference and stated that the progress we seek in our lives can only be achieved when anchored on credible economic development agenda at all levels of government.

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Victoria Agba-Attah

Director Information, MBNP

September 16th, 2019

The 18th JPB/NCDP Meeting. Date: 9-11, October 2019, Venue: Event Centre, Opposite Federal Secretariate, Asaba, Delta State.

The 18th Joint Planning Board (JPB)/ National Council on Development Planning (NCDP) Meeting 
Theme: State Fiscal Sustainability and Economic Diversification in Nigeria is scheduled as follows:
Date: Wednesday, 9th - Friday 11th, October 2019 
Arrival and Registration Commence from 4:00 pm: Tuesday 8th  October 2019 at the Event Venue 
Venue: Event Centre, Okpanam Road, Opposite Federal Secretariate, Asaba, Delta State.

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