By Ayobami Adedinni
The Minister for Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma has said the Federal Government (FG) will revamp the economy by improving the enabling environment for all investors.
He sated this while speaking wuith global business leaders at the World Economic Forum (WEF) which took place in Davos, in Switzerland, last week.
According to him, the aim of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which was launched by the President last year, is to restore growth by diversifying the economy, stabilizing the macroeconomic environment, investing in infrastructure and improving the country’s business environment, amongst others.
The Minister emphasized that the main principles behind the ERGP are to tackle the constraints to growth, leverage the power of the private sector, allow markets to function, whilst upholding the country’s core values and promoting national cohesion and social inclusion.
He said that since the ERGP was launched and imple-mentation commenced, the economy has started showing signs of improvement.
Indeed, he pointed out that, already, one of its objectives has been achieved as the economy emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2017, with GDP showing a marginal growth of 0.72 per cent.
By the third quarter of 2017, the growth level doubled to 1.40 per cent with strong showing in Agriculture which grew by 3.06 per cent and Industry by 8.83 per cent.
Other positive indicators, he emphasized are the growth in the level of Capital Importation which increased to $4.145 million in Q3 of 2017; Foreign Reserves which grew to N39.43 billion in January 2017 and Inflation which declined to 15.37 per cent by December 2017.
He also indicated that there has been a narrowing of the gap between the CBN rate for foreign exchange and the parallel market rate. All these he listed as evidence that confidence in the Nigerian economy is coming back.
Emphasizing govern-ment’s determination to drive its economic agenda to achieve the broad principles of restoring and sustaining economic growth, building a competitive economy and investing in the people. the minister said government is focused on achieving at least 7 per cent GDP growth; $10 billion in Foreign Direct investment; 10 GW of power generation and placing among the first 100 countries on the Ease of Doing Business ranking by 2020.
He assured the gathering that all these goals were achieveable with the effective implementation of the ERGP