Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The federal government is fine tuning the process of putting in place a medium-term economic blueprint as a successor plan for the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which runs its full course this year.
A source privy to the emerging plan, which will most likely be christened Medium-Term Economic Growth Acceleration Plan (MEGAP) 2021-2024, told THISDAY yesterday that the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning is putting in place details of the new blueprint in collaboration with some players in the private sector prior to its formal launch later in the year.
Although the proposed MEGAP will be a medium-term economic blueprint, the source said, a successive long-term Vision 2040 would follow suit.
According to him, while the underpinning consideration behind the ERGP (2017-2020) is recovering the economy from recession, when it was launched, MEGAP, as the name epitomises, is being designed to accelerate growth in the economy.
The three broad strategic objectives of the ERGP are to restore growth, invest in human capital and build a globally competitive economy.
The ERGP set a rather unrealistic target of seven per cent real growth in gross domestic product (GDP) by 2020.
However, GDP growth in the third quarter of 2019 stood at 2.3 per cent while it is projected at least three per cent in 2020, a far cry from the seven per cent ERGP target.
But the source told THISDAY that some of the pitfalls that resulted in the failure of the ERGP from meeting most of its targets would be addressed.
“You know that revenue challenge is real. It’s a major inhibiting factor to the realisation of many lofty objectives of the federal government. But with the coming of a successor medium term plan for the ERGP, the revenue problem is being addressed through various fronts.
“The launch of the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) is a major launch pad to address revenue shortages. Revenue generating agencies have also been given a marching order on targets. So, the new medium term blueprint to succeed the ERGP is to accelerate economic growth.
“That is why the federal government may christen it Medium-Term Economic Growth Acceleration Plan,” the source, who craved anonymity, said.
He added that the federal government might launch it in the second or third quarter of 2020.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, had recently hinted about government’s plan for increased coordination of fiscal, macroeconomic, monetary and trade policies
She said: “An important next step will be to transition our 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan to a successive long-term Vision 2040 Plan. To this end, I am currently working with the Honourable Minister of State, Budget and National Planning to prepare a Medium-Term Economic Growth Acceleration Plan for 2021-2024 as a successor to the ERGP.”