Minister Harps on Planning 

Clement Agba

James Emejo in Abuja 

The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, has advised state governments to take planning seriously, pointing out that the country was able to successfully overcome the recent economic challenges with the aid of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).

He said most states appeared to elevate budgeting, thereby relegating planning which according to him is the most important element for achieving success in economic growth.

Speaking when he received a delegation of the Katsina State Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Council (KS MSMEC), led by the State Deputy Governor, Mannir Yakubu, who doubles as the chairman of the Council, over the weekend, the minister said, planning had been found to be useful in managing the economy.

He said: “We had in the past concentrated our efforts on just budgeting, but budgeting must grow from a development plan and that explains the success we have recorded so far in the economy, although this has not met our expectations, but it has remained consistent in the last ten quarters.”

He further commended the state government for setting up the council adding that available statistics suggested that MSMEs employ between 60 per cent and 70 per cent of the working population and remained key to economic prosperity.

The minister urged the state to take advantage of the €500million approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the Bank of Industry (BoI) to support MSMEs’ development in the country by working with the bank to access the fund.

Earlier, the deputy governor had informed the minister that the state was desirous of creating an enabling environment that would facilitate economic growth.

He asked the minister for technical assistance in attracting more funds from development partners and other donor agencies as well as to build the capacity of the state’s workforce.