FG: ERGP Implementation Plan will Not Affect Budget Performance

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Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
As the implementation of the 2017 budget effectively takes off, the federal government has declared that  its performance will not in any way be hampered by the yet-to-be- released implementation plan of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

In a telephone chat with THISDAY, Mr. Akpandem James, the Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, said the budget as a fiscal instrument has its full provisions, including projects, allocations and implementation mechanism as well as monitoring and evaluation (M&E) strategies.

At the public presentation of the 2017 budget in Abuja last Monday, Udoma had stated that work on the ERGP Implementation Plan (ERGP-IP) was ongoing, adding that the plan would guide the implementation of the budget.

He said: “We are also working on the ERGP Implementation Plan (ERGP-IP) which will guide the implementation of the 2017 budget as well as other budgets over the medium term.
“It is my expectation that as we remain strategic and bold in our implementation process we will achieve the objectives set out in the ERGP.”

However, while the implementation of the budget has effectively commenced, the ERGP-IP is still in the mills.
Asked if the non-release of the ERGP-IP would not hamstrung the  execution of the 2017 Budget based on the minister’s pronouncement, James said the budget itself has inbuilt provisions to work irrespective of whether or not the ERGP-IP is there or not.

He noted that this was why the budget has a detailed breakdown of projects, allocations and revenue projections, among others, as well as monitoring and evaluation mechanism.
But he added that the ERGP-IP would be all-encompassing, including timelines for the execution of projects and much more.

Although the 2017 Budget was prepared before the finalisation of the ERGP, it drew extensively from the policies set out in the ERGP.
It is based on  three core strategic objectives, which are to: restore and sustain growth; invest in the people, and a globally competitive economy.

It is an ambitious plan that seeks to achieve a seven per cent economic growth by the year 2020.
In collaboration with the private sector and other stakeholders, the Ministry of Budget and National Planning is currently putting together the implementation plan of the medium-term blueprint, which hallmarks the flagship programme of the current administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari.