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Ubani hails FG’s emerging economic recovery plan as VP meets experts today

Leading legal luminary and analyst in legal matters, Barrister Monday Onyekachi Ubani has welcomed the plan by the federal government to release its anticipated National Economic Recovery Growth Plan before the end of February.

Already, plans have been concluded for the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo to chair a consultative forum of experts on how best to design the economic recovery plan. The plan aims to address current economic challenges, restore growth, and reposition the economy for sustained inclusive growth.

The minister of National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma had weekend assured that the document will be ready before the end of this month.

But in a telephone interview, Ubani said the idea to articulate a recovery policy is the best option for the government in this circumstance we have found ourselves.

While noting that it is better late than never, Ubani recalled that “The federal government has done well in terms of tackling issues of security, fighting corruption and I think the best bet now is to come up with plans that will exit Nigeria from recession”.

“Every Nigerian is aware that the economy is biting hard, so if the government comes up with a recovery plan, that will be beautiful and we all need to support the government in this regard.

Explaining the recovery plan, Senator Udoma revealed that “The NERGP focuses on five broad areas namely: macroeconomic policy, economic diversification and growth drivers, competitiveness, social inclusion and jobs, and governance and other enablers”.

“Government, through the plan, is targeting a growth rate of seven per cent between 2017 and 2020.

In a statement signed by Mr Akpandem James, the Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, the plan is expected to be formally launched by President Mohammadu Buhari any time from now.

Besides, the Federal Government plans to brainstorm with economic experts from the private sector before finalising its development process.

Apart from economic experts, the organised private sector, civil society groups, the academia and State governments will also be consulted.

According to the government, the planned consultations are expected to enrich the Plan development process.

“The Forum, scheduled for noon of Monday, February 6, 2017, is expected to be chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“The NERGP is a follow-up to the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) which was a short term economic plan to drive the implementation of the 2016 Budget.

“In the SIP, government promised that it would deliver a more comprehensive economic recovery and growth Plan subsequently.”

It said, “It is principally targeted at getting the economy out of recession, getting people back to work and moving the country from a consuming nation to a producing nation.

“It also aims at providing an environment for ease of doing business and creating jobs, among others.

“Implementation of the plan will be driven by strong political will and strong collaboration between the public and private sectors especially in the areas of Agriculture, Manufacturing, Solid Minerals, Services and Infrastructure.”

The statement stated that 59 strategies have been developed, out of which 12 have been prioritised based on their importance to the success of the plan.

It listed priority areas to include restoring oil production to 2.2 million barrels per day and also reach 2.5 million barrels by 2020, privatise selected assets, accelerate non-oil revenue generation and drastically cut costs.

The statement further stated that Government also plans to align monetary, trade and fiscal policies, expand infrastructure especially power, roads and rail, revamp the four existing refineries and improve ease of doing business.

It said policies that promote Made-in-Nigeria goods will also be introduced.