UMAKHIHE SAYS FOREIGN ASSISTANCE VITAL TO NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, PRESENTS NATIONAL ODA TO MDAs

The Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning Mr. Ernest Umakhihe has stressed on the important role foreign assistance plays in achieving national development goals, saying that all international development interventions must be aligned to complement key national development goals. 

Umakhihe made this assertion at the presentation of the new Nigeria’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy to ministries, extra ministerial offices and agencies held recently in Abuja.

He harped on the need to develop reliable and quantifiable information on the support of development partners/ donors to Nigeria, adding that the Nigeria ODA policy seeks the harmonization of external assistance by ensuring a synergy and alignment with Nigeria’s development priorities, growth targets as well as poverty reduction goals.

The Nigeria ODA policy, the Permanent Secretary further said should be equally, “guided by the tenets of Nigeria’s foreign policy principles of mutual cooperation, strengthening of multilateral and bilateral relationships between Nigeria and developed partners”.

Umakihihe said that the Nigeria ODA policy and implementation framework will provide the guiding principles for the sourcing, provision and utilization of bilateral, multilateral /non-governmental grants and aids flowing into Nigeria. 

Speaking further, the Permanent Secretary urged MDA’s, collaborate with the Ministry by coming up with useful suggestions on how to make the ODA Policy a framework for a more strategic, coherent and better coordinated development assistance that will help to achieve higher impact, as well as strengthen collaboration between our development partners and national stakeholders for results-driven management of development assistance.

Earlier in her remarks, Director Department of International Cooperation, in the Budget and National Planning arm of the Ministry of Finance Budget and National Planning, Mrs.Elizabeth Eghareva told the audience that the ODA policy will help to enhance transparency and accountability in development assistance operations’ in the country.

 

She said that the new ODA will provide a framework for reporting and analysis of external aids with the ultimate objective of promoting transparency and accountability in the utilization

Participants of the presentation were drawn from MDA’s and representatives from the states

 

IFEANYI OKEREKE

FOR: DIRECTOR INFORMATION MBNP

December 1st, 2019. 

 

FG HARPS ON NEED TO STREAMLINE DONOR SUPPORT, COMMENDS UNIDO’S COUNTRY PROGRAMME

 

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba has underscored the need for donor agencies and development partners in the country to cooperate with Government in its effort to streamline their  support to the country.

Prince Agba said the cooperation by the donors and development partners would help to align their support to the country’s priority areas and make for better coordination of  their activities and programmes in the country.

He spoke when he received in his office on Tuesday a delegation from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) led by its Representative to ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Hub Office, Mr Jean Bakole.

The Minister explained that the ministry, by virtue of its mandate, “coordinates the relationship between the country and our development partners, in terms of bilateral and multilateral co-operations”, adding that the coordination was central to donors’ assistance in the Country.

He, however, commended UNIDO for its new 5-year Country Partnership Programme (2018-2022) signed in November 2018, which is designed to address nine critical areas of Nigeria’s development.

He said that the sectors were aligned to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (EGRP) and Vision 2020 plans.

The Minister, therefore, urged UNIDO to ensure that “it works closely with relevant stakeholders to ensure the smooth implementation of the Country Programme”, adding that he believed that such partnership would complement Government’s Economic programmes aimed at diversifying revenue generation and employment creation, which were key to the administration’s policies.  

He further pledged Government’s commitment to the Country Partnership agreement signed with UNIDO and assured that Government would do its best to fulfill its part of the agreement by contributing her counterpart fund.

The UNIDO Representative to the ECOWAS and Regional Director, Nigeria Hub Office, Mr Bakole expressed gratitude to the Nigerian Government for its strong commitment and support to UNIDO’s activities and multilateralism in Africa.

According to Bakole, “I don’t know of any other Country in Africa that is committed to Multilateralism as Nigeria. Nigeria is one of the few countries that ensures its yearly contribution without delay.”

The UNIDO representative explained that “Nigeria’s development is critical to growth and development of Africa”, adding that “UNIDO has designed the new Country Partnership Programme in line with the Country’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the Vision 2020 aimed at addressing the Country’s economic challenges.”

He said that the new UNIDO-Nigeria Country Programme was designed in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy of industrialisation, pointing out that “there is no way we can move forward without industrialization.”

Bakole took the opportunity to throw more light on the 9 critical areas which the new programmes intend to intervene namely, Industrial Governance Status policy; Agro -Allied initiatives; Special Economic Zones an Industrial Parks; Development of MSMES; Trade Capacity Building aimed at fully utilizing the AFCTA; Energy, particularly renewable Energy;  Environment;   Metal and Mineral Development; and, Science Innovation and Technology.

 

Victoria Agba-Attah

Director Information (MBNP)

November, 19th 2019. 

 

NES # 25 : ZAINAB CALLS FOR URGENT POLICIES TO ADDRESS RISING POPULATION, SHIFT TO COMPETITIVE PRIVATE SECTOR LED ECONOMY

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed has called for urgent need to design effective policies that will help the country address issues of the rising population while ensuring paradigm shift to competitive private sector-led economic growth and development.

Mrs. Zainab Ahmed made this call on Monday in Abuja at the 25thNigerian Economic Summit (NES #25TH) with the theme ’’ Nigeria at 2050: Shifting Gears’’.

The Minister said ‘’ Shifting Gears emphasizes the imperatives for the country to move to a robust competitive private sector economy with a focus on the implications of the projected population of the country hitting over 400 million, making Nigeria the third most populous country in the world by 2050. 

The structure of this population shows that the majority will be under 35, representing a large percentage of Africa’s young working-age population. The opportunities are endless, as are the risks, however, if we do not accelerate our efforts towards sustainable and inclusive growth, and improved human capital’’.

She stated that she foresee a future where the country’s young and vibrant population is well educated particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics education (STEAM)- creating a workforce with the skills that will position the country’s youth to be gainfully employed, as well as include high value digital jobs that will not only tap in to but also drive the limitless global digital economy.

 She added that, her list of aspirations for the country includes a future where the majority of Nigerians have been sustainably lifted out of poverty; have access to fundamental services including education, health care; Water supply and sanitation and also a future where all are financially included, with affordable access to financial products and services with no one left behind.

The Minister said, ‘’ this future we crave for will not be created by luck, neither will it be created by the Federal Government nor by State Governments alone. It will require collective action by all stakeholders including citizens and the private sector. As we all know the private has a crucial role to play. This future will require comprehensive targeted reforms, tough decisions, a radical shift in the current culture. Including attitudes towards taxes and public finance. Just as the saying goes ‘ no pain no gain’- I must say, the journey will be a painstakingly tough and will require sacrifices on all sides- including government, the private sector, and other stakeholders’’.

According to the Minister, the outputs of the summit will be critical as we work towards creating the Nigeria we deserve, and also will aid the government in developing and implementing the next generation of National Plans, and towards implementing policies and programmes.

She said that these 25 years of collaborative engagement has helped in shaping the policies of the government and also stating that past Summit outcomes have contributed to policies on Power sector Reforms, Agriculture sector Reform and the Pension Reform among others.

The Chairman of the NESG, Mr. Asue Ighodalo in his welcome address, said that the 25th anniversary is a pivotal time to review the history of the summit, stressing that as we do so, to express profound appreciation to the founding fathers who passionately and courageously initiated the platform for

Promoting public-private dialogue, stating that by dint of their vision, they handed the business community an effective private sector-led, non- partisan, non- profit think tank.

Mr. Ighodalo said that NESG has kept faith over the years with its role as a communication conduit between government and business, stressing that through the Summit, the NESG has led dialogues that have resulted in a shift of the country’s economy from state control to free enterprise.

He said that the country has started to see the potential of an increasingly dynamic private sector to transform and impact lives.

 

Victoria Agba-Attah

Director (Information)

9th October, 2019

 

GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO BUILDING SUSTAINABLE ECONOMY – CLEM AGBA

The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba has expressed Government’s commitment to building a strong, stable and sustainable economy, predicated on sound economic policies needed to move the nation to the next level.

Prince Clem made this commitment recently, at the meeting of the National Council on Development Planning (NCDP) held in Asaba, Delta State.

He stated that the nation, having been faced with various economic crisis including the drop in oil revenues, had to, among other efforts and interventions take immediate steps to stop the economic drift and reverse the impending collapse of the financial system. “One of such significant effort was putting in place a comprehensive Medium Term Plan – the ERGP whereby a cutting-edge measure aimed at rescuing and repositioning the nation’s economy was adopted”, continued the Minister.

Prince Clem further noted that the nation’s economy at the end of the first four years of President Buhari’s administration had been largely stable with macro-economic indices growth increase from 0.82% in 2018 and 3.01% expected at the end of 2019.

The Minister, however, underscored the need to accomplish price stability, economic freedom, economic security, economic efficiency as well as full employment for its citizens, if Nigeria is to maintain a strong and sustainable economy.

He reiterated Government’s desire to reduce social and economic inequality through targeted social investment programmes, health education, technology, and improved information system; urging the various States to take steps to domesticate integrated Sustainable Development Goals (iSDGs) in their respective jurisdictions.

The 18th edition of the JPB/NCDP which had its theme “States’ Fiscal Sustainability and Economic Diversification in Nigeria” provided a platform to brainstorm on different issues pertaining to the economy; is expected to contribute to the process of evolving a Successor Plan to the ERGP, through an inclusive and well-articulated National Development Plan 2021 – 2025.

The outcome of the meeting is equally expected to consolidate the significant gains of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 – 2020.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Governor of Delta State, Senator Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa emphasized the need for fiscal discipline as a bedrock for achieving fiscal sustainability. He added that although the Federal Government has set up a regulatory and monitoring mechanism to drive development in states, he insisted that any financial request for support from any state should be conditional and under certain established parameters.

He urged that annual budgets of States must be derived from its Fiscal Strategy paper which is in line with the Fiscal responsibility law. Governor Okowa further posited that all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) must align their projects and programmes with the available resources to eliminate the deficit.

The Meeting has in attendance the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, who declared it open, representative of the Hon. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Mohammed K Dikwa and other distinguished dignitaries. 


Victoria Agba-Attah
Director Press MBNP
 

UMAKIHIHE TASKS STATES ON ECONOMIC DIVERSIFICATION 

The Permanent Secretary, (Budget and Planning), Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mr. Ernest A. Umakhihe has called on State Governments in the Country to make conscious efforts at diversifying their economic/revenue base.

Mr. Umakhihe made this call in his remarks, Tuesday at the opening of the meeting of the Joint Planning Board (JPB) in Asaba, Delta State.  

According to him, “the Country’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP) had constantly, indicated that the Oil& Gas sector dominates other sectors in terms of contribution to the national GDP” while other important sectors like Agriculture, Manufacturing, Wholesale and Retails trade have remained insignificant.

He, therefore, urged the States to tap into the Accelerated Agricultural Development Scheme (AADS) of the Central Bank of Nigeria, adding that the Scheme is intended to provide N1.5Billion loan to each State government to enable them to engage youths in Commercial Agriculture.

Furthermore, the Permanent Secretary described as apt the theme of this year’s meeting, “States’ Fiscal Sustainability and Economic Diversification in Nigeria” considering the States’ potentials to easily diversify its economic base.

Speaking on the way forward, the Permanent Secretary urged States on the need to concentrate on Agriculture, Manufacturing, Industrialization and Commercial activities and replicate the economic policies of the Federal Government in their respective States in order to consolidate and sustain the success achieved so far.

Earlier in his welcoming remark, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Planning in Delta State, Mr. Odhogbi J. O. reiterated the pervading role of planning to development generally, adding that development indices should not only be tied so much to generated statistical data, but to the actual trickle-down effect of development and how it transforms the general wellbeing of the people.

According to Odhogbi, there must be a deliberate and concerted effort of government at the National and State levels, while also identifying and taking full advantage of other revenue sources yet to be tapped,  if fiscal sustainability and economic diversification must be achieved.

The Secretary to the Delta State Government Mr. Chiedu Ebie, represented by Dr. Barry Pere Gbe, Commissioner for Economic Planning, who declared the event open pledged the commitment of the Delta State Government to grow its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and enhance its revenue base.


Victoria Agba-Attah
Director (Press)
MFBNP
 

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