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
 

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

 

FG, GERMAN GOVT SIGN 70 £URO BILATERAL AGREEMENT

The Federal Government on Friday in Abuja signed a 70M Euros additional financing bilateral agreement with the Republic of Germany on sustainable economic development, renewable energy, polio eradication, strengthening the resilience of internally displaced persons and host communities in northern Nigeria, education, peace, and Security, amongst others.

At the signing ceremony, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba explained that the areas of intervention by the Government of Germany were in line with economic sustainability and inclusive growth espoused by the Government of Nigeria in the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan.

Praising the efforts of the consultative meeting, which produced the agreement, Prince Agba said that it had provided a platform for a coordinated approach to economic cooperation between the two countries. The forum also reviewed and strengthened the existing cooperation as well as discussed further on the expansion of the cooperation between Nigeria and Germany.

The Minister, therefore, commended the German Government for its continuous support and commitment to the development of the Nigerian nation since the 1960s.

Speaking on behalf of the Government of Germany, leader of the delegation and head of the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Mr. Christoph Raul maintained that Germany is pleased with the efforts of the present government at growing the economy.

He further stated that the Republic of Germany had partnered the country in her march towards polio eradication which had led to 3 years of absence of the white poliovirus, and further expressed the commitment of the German government to achieve its economic policies.

 

Ifeanyi Okereke

For: Director Press, MBNP

October 4th, 2019.

 

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
 

Budget 2020; Finance Minister Gives Breakdown

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has broken down the proposed 2020 budget, putting the total revenue at 8.15trillion naira.

She said that the total expenditure for the proposed budget stands at 10.33 trillion Naira.

The honorable minister made the disclosure on Monday during a presentation aimed at discussing the details of the 2020 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari.

She said, “This is the first time in a long time that this presentation is done early in an effort to get back to the Jan-Dec budget cycle. “Another will be held after passage by NASS”.

She announced that the Federal Government is planning several key reforms including the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative.

According to her, the proposal is accompanied by a Finance Bill which has five Strategic Objectives, they are:

  1. Promoting Fiscal Equity by mitigating instances of regressive taxation. 
  1. Reforming domestic tax laws to align with global best practices; 
  1. Introducing tax incentives 4 investments in infrastructure & capital markets. 
  1. Supporting micro, small & medium-sized businesses in line with Ease of Doing business reforms. 
  1. Raising revenues for the government. 

source: https://controltv.ng/budget-2020-finance-minister-gives-breakdown/

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