Osinbajo meets private sector operators over economy

L-R: Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma during and engagement of the top government officials with private sector operators on economic recovery and growth plan in Abuja on Monday.

Private sector operators on Monday proffered ways to realise the goals and objectives of the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, currently being developed by the federal government.

The operators highlighted the need for deliberate structures to be established by government for diligent implementation, effective monitoring and thorough evaluation of the plan.

Consisting captains of industry and heads of the various Chambers of Commerce and Industry across the country, the operators spoke at a consultative forum in Abuja organized by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning on the development process of the national economy plan.

Noting the engagement of key interest groups in the process, the operators said this showed a genuine desire by government to rapidly grow the economy, pointing out that past development plans failed as a result of inattention to the above factors.

Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, who presided over the session, assured that government was determined to put the Nigerian economy back on a strong footing through diligent implementation of the recovery and growth plan.

Acknowledging the sufferings Nigerians are facing as a result of the current economic downturn, the vice president said years of deterioration and corruption cannot be remedied overnight.

Notwithstanding, he said it was the government’s responsibility to ensure the economy was put back on a track, and the slide in economic fortunes arrested for the benefit of the people and the country.

“Government has intervened in several ways to mitigate the sufferings of the people, including giving bailouts to state governments to enable them pay salaries of workers,” he said.

He said the government was determined to diligently implement the plan, with major emphasis on implementation, monitoring and evaluation, saying a specially staffed delivery unit would be established to handle the implementation process.

The medium-term plan, he explained, expected to drive the country to a minimum gross domestic product, (GDP) growth rate of seven percent within the plan period.

“Our goal is to have an economy with low inflation, stable exchange rates, and a diversified and inclusive growth,” he said.

“The key to success lies in the seriousness of the execution aspect of the process. Immediate execution priorities include agriculture and food security; energy (power and petroleum); small businesses and industrialization and stabilizing the macroeconomic environment,” he stated.

Also speaking, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udoma, said the forum was in keeping with government’s promise to consult widely, to harvest inputs from the relevant sectors and professionals to enrich the plan and make it all inclusive.

Udoma said the forum was specifically to enable private sector operators review the context for plan, share its structure, discuss potential key initiatives and solicit feedback from them.

The basic principles of the plan include tackling constraints to growth, including fuel, power, foreign exchange, and even business unfriendly regulation; leveraging the power of the private sector.

Other principles include promoting national cohesion and social inclusion; allowing markets to function, by prioritizing the use of the market as a means of resource allocation and supporting a more business friendly economic environment.

Also, the principle is to uphold core values that define Nigerian society, notably discipline, integrity, dignity of labour, social justice, religious tolerance, self-reliance and patriotism in the bid to reposition and grow the economy in a sustainable manner.

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