FG considers asset sales, others to revamp economy – Punch

Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, on Monday gave further insights into the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan due to be launched next month.

He said the government planned to privatise some selected national assets and restore the 2.2 million barrels per day oil production and possibly raise it to 2.5mbpd by 2020 as part of the plans to revamp the economy.

Udoma spoke at the Second Presidential Business Forum held at the old Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, and presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

He, however, did not disclose the national assets slated for privatisation.

Apart from the planned privatisation and the restoration of the oil production capacity, the minister said 10 other strategies had been prioritised based on their importance to the ERGP.

The strategies, according to the minister, are to accelerate non-oil revenue generation; drastically cut costs; align monetary, trade and fiscal policies; expand infrastructure, especially power, roads and rail; revamp the four existing refineries; and improve the ease of doing business.

Others are to expand social investment programmes; deliver on agricultural transformation; accelerate implementation of the National Industrial Revolution Plan using special economic zones; as well as focusing on priority sectors in order to generate jobs, promote exports, boost growth and upgrade skills.

Udoma said the ERGP, which will run between 2017 and 2020, was being finalised to address current economic challenges, restore growth and reposition the economy for sustained inclusive growth.

He said its implementation would be driven by strong political will and close partnership and strong collaboration between the public and private sectors, especially in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing, solid minerals, services and infrastructure.

Osinbajo said the main objective of the Federal Government’s economic plan was the sustenance of the robust private sector partnership.

He said, “It is our strong belief that sustainable economic growth is only possible if it is private sector-led and a great attention has been paid as you will possibly find in sustaining private sector leadership, especially in the economic recovery and growth plan 2017, which is to be launched next month.

“The pivot of that plan is private sector-led recovery growth and plan.  So, this forum is an important one for engendering the continuous engagement that this partnership will entail.”

The President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Frank Jacobs, who spoke on behalf of the Organised Private Sector, said the operators were aware of the current state of the economy and the efforts the Federal Government was making to revive it.

He also commended the government for the effort at curbing the security challenges the nation had been encountering and the determination to rid the country of corruption.