President Buhari to inaugurate economic recovery plan

*Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari. AP Photo/Sunday Alamba.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

05 April 2017, Sweetcrude, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari is to inaugurate the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 on Wednesday, the president’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, disclosed in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Mr. Adesina, who is the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president, said the inauguration of the plan was in furtherance of the current administration’s drive to sustain and build on the successes so far recorded in tackling corruption, improving security and re-revamping the economy.

According to him, the formal inauguration of the plan will take place in the council chambers of the presidential villa, Abuja, at 11 a.m.

The Medium-Term ERGP was approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) during one of its meetings in 2017.

It has among its strategic objectives a plan to restore sustainable, accelerated inclusive growth and development; invest in the people and build a globally competitive economy.

The plan was specifically designed to take the country out of the recession and in the long term, continue to grow the economy while planning of 2017 was also based on the ERGP to accelerate speedy recovery and development of infrastructure.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned Nigeria its economy needs urgent reform, according to a report seen by Reuters that could delay talks over $1.4 billion in international loans.

The Washington-based fund will urge Nigeria, a major oil producer, to introduce immediate changes to its exchange rate policy, and say its recent reform plan is not enough to drag Africa’s biggest economy out of recession, according to the 68-page report.

“Much more needs to be done,” the IMF said in the document, written after a final meeting between its representatives and top officials in the capital Abuja before the fund issues its verdict on Nigeria’s economy, expected on March 29.

“Further actions are urgently needed,” it said. The report – from the fund’s acting secretary and addressed to members of its executive board – is set to form part of the IMF’s verdict, although Nigeria can request alterations.

The Fund has panned the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Programme, noting that it offers few concrete steps.

It noted that the ERGP “is more optimistic on growth than (IMF) staff; it does not explicitly call for tighter monetary and fiscal policy in the near term and assumes no immediate change in exchange rate policy – all of which are essential to reduce vulnerabilities and increase investors’ interest,” said the IMF.

Delays in adopting these policies increase vulnerabilities and risk reforms being politicised ahead of the 2019 elections, the IMF said.

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