Federal government, Wednesday, said
that it would determine the size of the loan it is
expected to take from the World Bank only when
the 2017 budget is passed into law and that
President Muhammadu Buhari will be launching
an economic recovery plan soon
This was even as it had also started the process
of fine-tuning the Economic Growth and Recovery
It will be recalled that FG started the loan process
to finance the 2016 budget deficit but stop mid
The government in 2017 renewed interest in the
loan but said the amount to borrow would become
clearer only when the year’s budget is passed
into law as the funds would be used to finance
the 2017 budget deficit.
Fielding questions from State House
Correspondents at the end of the Federal
Executive Council, FEC at the presidential Villa,
Abuja, the Minister of Budget and National
Planning, Senator Udo Udoma said the figure of
the loan was dependent on the amount the
National Assembly would approve in the fiscal
“The figure will depend of the (2017) budget
approved by the National Assembly,” he said.
Meanwhile, briefing newsmen earlier on what
transpired at the FEC meeting, the Minister said
that Council deliberated extensively on the
Economic and Recovery Growth Plan.
The plan is expected to be launched soon by
President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to him, the plan would be
comprehensive of all the plans of government.
He said: “We had extensive discussion on
Economic Recovery Growth Plan, ERGP. The
growth plan is still being fine-tuned. But a lot of
inputs were made by Council Members and it is
virtually ready for the President to launch.
However, we are doing some fine-tuning and
during this period we also do some final
consultation before the president launches the
“The plan that is being approved is expected to
drive Economic recovery and lay the foundation
for longer economic growth as well as improve
the competitiveness of the Nigerian economy.
The goal of the plan is to have an economy with
low inflation, stable exchange rate and a
diversified inclusive and sustaining growth.
“The Proposed initiatives outlined in the plan are
designed to address the country’s poor
competitiveness, improve business environment
and attract investment and infrastructure,
especially power, roads, rails and ports. Jobs and
social inclusion are also key focused areas of the
He also stated that the immediate execution
priorities of the plan were as follows “agriculture
and food security; energy, particularly power and
petroleum product sufficiency; industrialization-
focusing on small and medium size enterprising;
transportation which is very, very important as an
infrastructure requirement to get the economy
really moving; stabilization of the micro-economic
According to him, these were the underpins
focused on governance and delivery to the
successful implementation of the plan.
He said: “We spent a lot of time looking at
implementation. That’s the key and one of the
means of ensuring implementation is to have a
delivery unit which will be in the presidency and
the key principles of the plan are tackling
constraints to growth; leveraging the power of the
private sector; promoting national cohesion and
social inclusion; allowing market to function;
approving the sore value for which this country
“So, these are the principles. They are still being
fine-tuned. Reviews are being incoperated and at
a date to be announced soon, the president will
launch the plan. Let me add that there will be
additional consultations that we agreed in cabinet
that we will be making and one of the people we
will be consulting will be labour before the plan is
“We came in to meet very difficult economic
circumstances and we have been working hard.
When you talk about the plan, it is a document.
What goes into the plan are things that we have
working but now want put everything in a single
plan. But elements of the plan are already being
“As you know, the 2017 budget is under the
guidance of the plan. It is just we want a
complete document so that any stakeholder
dealing with Nigeria internally and externally,
there will one document that you can see
anything that you want find out about what
government thinking is on the economy and every
aspect of it.
“It is all in a document. We started with this
implementation in the 2016 budget. When the plan
is launched, you will see that everything that was
done in that 2016 budget will be in that plan.
“We have launched agricultural plan which is part
of it. We have also launched solid minerals which
we have announced. So, each of the sectors will
be in one document so that nobody can say they
don’t know what our plan is in any sector.
“In fact, those people who are interested, they do
know our thinking is any of the sector because at
every occasion, we have said it. So, I don’t think,
the document will be a surprise. We believe in
ease of doing business. What we stand for is to
turn this country around.”
Asked while the government was still on planning
process 2 years after taking office, the Minister
said planning was necessary to accommodate
other needs as they arise.
“Government came in with a clear mandate. If
you remember it was on three principles: one,
tackling corruption, restoring security and fixing
the economy. As you know, we are still working
on all the three. We were clear on what our plans
“However when you come and you implementing,
you have to get all information that you actually
need physically and see from it and get out what
you want there. As regards budget releases, if
you look the past budget, capital releases have
never been released in full because of funding
constraints. Actually, we are not doing badly right
now in terms of capital budget releases.
“Because of the funding constraints, the budget
has a deficit, I traveled with Minister of Finance
and CBN governor to market out eurobond. As
you can see, the Eurobond was oversubscribed
by over 8 times, so the funds are coming in,
there is more stability in th Niger-Delta, so more
money are coming in”, he said.
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