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Nigeria’s new economic recovery plans: The road ahead


Nigeria’s new economic recovery plans: The road ahead

Nigeria’s new economic recovery plans: The road ahead
Photo credit: Godwin Omoigui

The federal government finally launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020 in Abuja last Wednesday (5 April), raising expectations of economic recovery, if fully implemented.

The Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa was filled with excitement and grinning expressions on Wednesday when President Muhammadu Buhari formally launched a four-year economic plan. Tagged Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020, the plan was meant to put to rest the protracted criticism of the president for failing to come up with a national economic blueprint for almost two years after his inauguration.

The document, which spells out government’s roadmap for security improvement, war against corruption, and economic revitalisation, is also a compendium of government’s sectoral plans for agriculture and food security; energy and transport infrastructure; and industrialisation and social investments. It also consists of plans to drive economic growth and achieve a seven per cent growth rate in 2020.

The ERGP was launched by Buhari ahead of the take-off of the day’s weekly Federal Executive Council meeting with the chamber accommodating unusual guests, such as the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Zamfara State Governor, Abdulaziz Yari.

At the formal launch of the plan, Buhari was joined by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Saraki, Dogara, Yari, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, and the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who all brandished copies of the plan with grinning expressions on their faces. 


Even though the plan contains well thought-out initiatives, the major concern of watchers of the event is whether the government actually possesses the political will and commitment to bring the plan to fruition. 

The cynicism towards the plan arose from Nigeria’s age-long tradition of drawing up laudable initiatives without the will to execute them. 

It is against this background that many seek to know whether this plan would indeed achieve its aims and objectives, despite the assurance by the government that a monitoring unit will be established to allay such fears.


Before the formal launch of the plan on Wednesday, the president had in his speech highlighted various components of the ERGP, assuring that his government would deploy the same commitment it had employed to fight corruption and insecurity to improve local content and transform Nigeria from an import-dependent nation to a producing economy where the country will consume what it produces. He also said the plan would serve as a veritable platform for the economy to thrive.

Buhari said the plan was driven by his administration’s commitment to his electoral promise to change the way things were done in Nigeria and consequently change Nigeria for good. He challenged the state governors to draw inspiration from the plan to articulate economic programmes for their respective states. 

He also appealed to Nigerians to cooperate with the government in its drive to achieve the objectives of the plan and called on the National Assembly, the business community and the civil society organisations to embrace the plan.

Buhari, who commended the economic team led by Osinbajo for coming up with the plan, reiterated the government’s plan to improve security, tackle corruption and grow the economy. He also listed other objectives of the plan to include agricultural revolution, infrastructural development and social interventions, reiterating that the ERGP 2017-2020 would provide the roadmap for economic breakthrough. He added that the plan did not only seek to take the economy out of recession but to also place it on a path of sustained, inclusive and diversified growth

The president stated, “As we all know, this administration inherited numerous challenges. Our political campaign was based on a recognition of the difficult situation Nigeria was in and the need to bring positive and enduring change. And we remain committed to our electoral promise to change our way of doing things and to change Nigeria for good.

“We are committed to delivering on the three key areas that we promised. That is, improving security, tackling corruption and revitalising the economy. Security in the North-east and other parts of Nigeria is significantly better today than when we came in. With regards to our fight against corruption, as you all know, our law enforcement agencies are prosecuting very many cases of corruption. Our successes in these two areas are clear for all to see.

“I want to assure all Nigerians that we are approaching the solution to our economic challenges with the same will and commitment we have demonstrated in the fight against corruption and in the fight against terrorism and militancy. The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan brings together all our sectoral plans for agriculture and food security, energy and transport infrastructure, industrialisation and social investments together in a single document. It builds on the strategic implementation plan and sets out an ambitious roadmap to return the economy to growth; and to achieve a seven per cent growth rate by 2020.

“Our aim simply put, is to optimise local content and empower local businesses. We seek not just to take the Nigerian economy out of recession but to place it on a path of sustained, inclusive and diversified growth. We are determined to change Nigeria from an import-dependent country to a producing nation. We must become a nation where we grow what we eat and consume what we produce. We must strive to have a strong naira and productive economy.”

While introducing the plan earlier, Udoma said the ERGP had three cardinal objectives, namely, to restore security, fight corruption and guarantee economic recovery. The minister, who described the plan as the fulfilment of Buhari’s electoral campaign promise to promote and reinvigorate the economy, added that the plan would restore economic growth, invest in Nigerians, guarantee a competitive economy and build a self-reliant economy where Nigeria will consume what it produces and also export same to foreign countries.

Udoma added that the plan consisted of 60 interventions meant to touch various spheres of the nation, make the market function better and promote discipline, integrity, social justice, national cohesion and inclusion. He enumerated other features of the plan to include stabilising the economy, expanding the economy, improving energy consumption, boosting transportation infrastructure and driving industrialisation. He said even though the plan was being formally launched on Wednesday, its implementation actually actually preceded the launch. 

According to Udoma, “The broad objectives of the ERGP are to restore growth, invest in our people and build a globally competitive economy. As our president has repeatedly said, ours is to build a self-reliant economy – a country in which we can grow what we eat, use what we make and produce what we consume. A country, which embraces the world of technology, ideas and investment from everywhere but domesticates these ideas for the use of our people. A country which produces high quality goods, not just for our own consumption but enough to export to our neighbours and, indeed, the world. 

“Our aim is to create a culture where Nigeria continuously seek ways to add value to the resources we have been blessed with. In short, our aim is to change Nigeria, and change for good. Even though the ERGP outlines up to 60 initiatives, it focuses on five execution priorities, which are central to achieving the seven per cent growth projected by the end of the plan period. 

These are namely, stabilising the macro-economic environment; achievement of food security; expansion of energy infrastructure and driving industrialisation principally through local and small business enterprises.”


He said in the bid to ensure effective implementation, a special delivery unit would be established in the Presidency to monitor the implementation process with a view to ensuring that the objectives are implemented “with vigour, focus and success.”

“How does government intend to ensure that this plan is well implemented? I can assure you that under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, this plan will be effectively implemented. Whilst the Ministry of Budget and Planning will be coordinating the plan, the president has approved that a special delivery unit be created in the Presidency to monitor its implementation and remove all bottlenecks to plan implantation. This is one plan that will be implemented with vigour, with focus, and with success,” Udoma added.

Udoma also told THISDAY after the  FEC meeting that the plan as launched on Wednesday was only the first phase of the economic recovery growth plan, disclosing that the second phase of the plan was on its way.

In his own remarks, Yari described the plan as a significant landmark which provides the basis for inclusive growth and development. He assured that state governments would cooperate with the federal government to achieve the objectives of the plan.

Also speaking, Dogara expressed concern about the will to thoroughly implement the plan, pointing out that the plan sets out to address all aspects of development in Nigeria. Recalling that the plan drew inputs from relevant stakeholders across the country including the National Assembly, Dogara recalled how at various times in the nation’s history, good and strategic development agenda had been drawn but failed at the level of implementation. 

He expressed delight over Udoma’s disclosure that a unit will be created to ensure its implementation and pledged the cooperation of the House of Representatives to ensure the plan is well implemented.

In the same vein, Saraki described Wednesday as a day of restoration of hope. He said the proposal for the establishment of an implementation unit was cheery in view of several unimplemented goals in the past. He also said besides the unit, everyone had the responsibility to ensure that the plan was well implemented.

Saraki disclosed that some bills currently before the Senate, including the bills on ease of doing business and Made-in-Nigeria goods, were initiated to serve as impetus for the ERGP’s success.

» Download: Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020 (PDF, 6.59 MB)


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