Policy abandonment as Minister mulls new broad dev plan, silent on ERGP
What appears to suggest possible abandonment of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) introduced by the current administration during its first term (2015-2019) as development plan may have been dumped has emerged.
This is deduced from the maiden address of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Mrs Zainab Ahmed on Tuesday during her maiden meeting with top officials of the two merged ministries at the headquarters of Budget and National Planning in Abuja.
Besides, the minister did not in any way, give any kind of update on either the perfromance of ERGP as a policy of the government or make any refernce to the scheme which analysts beleived would have been reviewed next year with addition of new policy initiatives. Observers say the way and manner the federal government may have sidelined the scheme possibly becuase the architect and fromer Minister of National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma is no more in the government, leaces much to be desired.
The minister said Federal Government is, developing a comprehensive National Plan which will steer the country towards the direction of nation building and economic growth.
Analysts say her submission that “This is coming after several years without a coherent national plan acceptable to both public and private sector,” means that the Federal Government never believed itself when it sold the dummy of ERGP to Nigerians few years ago.
ERGP was exhaustibly explained and tracked by the non-returnee Minister of National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma.
Without any mention of ERGP throughout the duration of her address, Ahmed revealed that though the duration of the expected plan is yet to be ascertained even as there is no timeline for its commencement, it can be further deduced that the largest economy in Africa is currently running without a development plan,, five years into the administration of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Recall that the President, in his campaigns both in 2015 and 2019 insisted that his administration will be anchored on three strategic pillars including the economy, fighting corruption and security.
Continuing, the returnee minister said the national plan is expected to direct the overall economic growth and development of the nation.
Before concluding, Mrs Ahmed tasked the Minister of State to commence work on the national plan once work on MTEF and 2020 budget is concluded.
Business Hilights gathered that officials in attendance at the meeting include, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clement Agba; Permanent Secretary, Mr Ernest Umakhihe; Permanent Secretaries (Finance) Dr Isa Dutse and Alhaji Mohammed Dikwa and directors.