Udoma: Buhari Has Delivered Campaign Promises

Olaseni Durojaiye

Minister of Budget and Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma has insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari has delivered on three key campaign promises to fix the economy, fight corruption and combat insecurity in the North East geopolitical region of the country.

The minister, also, said the administration’s strategic economic plan, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, was a product of wide consultation among a cross section of Nigerians.

He stated this in his keynote address at an event organised by the Institute of Chartered Secretary and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN) which held in Lagos recently.

He stated that the aim of the ERGP was to re-route Nigeria from being import dependent to one that produces most of what it consumes as a way to reduce the nation’s import receipts, conserve foreign exchange and boost its external reserves.

“Buhari had promised to do three things – fight corruption; restore security; and fix the economy. We were therefore determined to halt the economic decline.

“We accomplished this, first, by introducing an expansionary fiscal budget in 2016 to reflate the economy and stimulate economic activity. This expansionary budget was accompanied by the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP).

“The SIP consisted of a series of short-term measures aimed at boosting economic activities so as to restore confidence. We followed this up, after extensive consultations with all segments of society, with the launching by the President of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 – 2020.

“In developing the ERGP we consulted the States; we consulted the National Assembly; we consulted our development partners; we consulted members of academia and leaders of thought. Most importantly, we consulted the private sector, including small and medium scale enterprises.

“When the ERGP was launched it received broad acceptance. It was designed to stop the economic decline and restore the economy to the path of sustained, inclusive and diversified growth driven mainly by the private sector.

“As you are aware, the ERGP has three broad objectives of restoring and sustaining growth, investing in our people and building a globally competitive economy. The Plan seeks to achieve growth that also generates jobs for Nigerians and widens economic opportunities for all our people.

Also at the event, President of the institute, Mr. Samuel Kolawole said the communiqué from its 2018 annual conference is a resourceful document that would impact the nation in various ways even as he said it will be made available to the federal government.

The annual conference of the institute held in Lagos had as its theme “Exploring the diversification agenda towards the emergence of a resilient economy.”

The sub themes for the conference were “The Diversification Agenda: The key areas of focus, the effect of fiscal and monetary policies on the Nigerian economy” and “The role of the chattered Secretary and Administrator in the diversification agenda.”

In his goodwill message, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye hailed the theme of the conference “Exploring the diversification agenda towards the emergence of a resilient economy noted that the country needed to diversify its economy from its continued dependence on oil.

“I believe we need a developmental plan, a 10-year plan reviewed every five years irrespective of which party is in power or government. It is all a matter of national interest which transcends political considerations.

“Any government in power must consult widely and get inputs from opposition parties and other stakeholders before the government of the day starts implementing and taking the decisions necessary to move the economy forward and it must do so with accountability, transparency through an autonomous Economic Development Agency insulated and shielded political considerations and interference.”

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