ABUJA (Budget and National Planning Report) – President Muhammadu Buhari has enjoined Private Sectors to show great commitment in Federal Government’s desire to make the country self-sufficient in provision of essential goods and services within the shortest possible time.
He said this at the closing ceremony of the three days National Economic Summit held in Abuja recently. The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma who represented the President at the summit assured participants that the government on its part has pledged to create the necessary environment that will enable robust private sector involvement in growing and sustaining the country’s economy.
He encouraged participants at the conference to make sure they leave with greater commitment to growing a sustainable economy for the country, he assured them that the government acknowledges the role played so far by the private sector.
The President expressed profound gratitude at the support of private sector operators, he said the government is determined to make diversification policy a reality, thus requires the involvement of all stakeholders to make the project sustainable and inclusive.
He said that the President is waiting anxiously for the recommendations of the Nigeria Economic Summit group, he also appreciates suggestions during the course of the summit, while revealing that some of the suggestions of the summit are actually things that we believe in and are already doing, therefore, it’s a pointer of the fact that we are moving in the right direction.
Udoma advised the Federal Government to engage and communicate more with the private sector so that it can get the necessary support from them, he said, “If we have to solve these problems, we have to work together with the private sector, we have to work with the states and we have to work with the National Assembly; it is by bringing everybody together that we can achieve the successes which we need, which we want and which we desire.”
He disclosed that government is working on producing a more comprehensive document which would provide appropriate information to assist in investment decisions. He said, “I just want to explain that when we came in, we all knew we had a problem, when the President was campaigning, he knew Nigeria was in bad shape, so he came to solve the problem and we are determined to solve the problem, we came up with an initial plan – the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP), which was a short term plan, we are working on a longer term plan which should be out by the end of the year as promised in that document.”
He explained that the new development blueprint will be a much more comprehensive plan and will embody all the policies of government covering all the sectors brought together in a single document and easy to access by investors and businesses. He said some of the sectoral plans including those on agriculture, solid minerals, trade and industries have already been approved by the Federal Executive Council.
Udoma said the President is determined to pursue government’s desire to move away from a mono-product economy to a regime where Nigeria will be self-sufficient in the provision of food and other essential products and services.
He described the theme of the summit, “Made-in-Nigeria” as apt, saying it reflects the things the President wants to achieve and which is absolutely necessary given the country’s large population, that it cannot afford to import everything it requires.
The summary and recommended action plan earlier submitted by the summit to the President urges the Presidency and Niger Delta State Governments to urgently take pragmatic steps to end the Niger Delta crisis in order to boost oil production and provide respite to the biting economy, boost government revenues and reduce exchange rate pressure.
It also suggests the full implementation of the proposed Presidential council on ease of doing business, fast-track the passage of bills and amendment of Acts that improve ease of doing business as well as establish the National Research and Innovation Fund.
The Presidency and the National Assembly were enjoined to enact legislation to support the take-off of the new development finance institution and for the Central Bank to review the list of items excluded from the FOREX market.