Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision for even faster growth for Nigeria in his second the term, having just won re-election, would be base on the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
Udoma who stated this at a press conference addressed jointly by the delegation leaders to the just concluded IMF/World Bank Group meetings in Washington DC, explained that the meetings presented an opportunity to share with potential investors, and development partners, the focus of the Nigerian government.
He said that President Buhari plans to achieve this by intensifying and consolidating on the implementation of the policies and programmes of the ERGP.
The delegation comprised the Finance Minister, Mrs Zainab Ahmed; the Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele; and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma.
The minister noted that Nigeria stands to benefit from the interface of the country’s delegation in Washington DC as the responses from all the delegation’s engagements with the global business community have been positive and encouraging.
During the meeting, Udoma participated in the presentation by the IMF of the Regional Economic Outlook (REO) for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), State of the African Region, Annual Ministerial Roundtable on Social Safety Nets, a business session with some members of the US Business Community, meetings with credit and rating agencies, a meeting with officials of the International Financial Corporation (IFC), and a coalition of civil society groups, amongst others.
He said the delegation has noted the indication by the REO for Sub-Saharan Africa and the advice by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), while the economic recovery in the sub-region is expected to continue, from 3.0 per cent GDP growth in 2018 to 3.5per cent in 2019 and 3.7 per cent in 2020, more should be done to shield the recovery against risks arising from both domestic and external shocks.
At the State of the African Region, the Minister said discussions centred on the role of regional cooperation in tackling fragility in Africa.
“A major takeaway was the need to pay attention to women empowerment and education of the girl child, as these have positive implications in dealing with fragility and reducing conflicts.
As you know, investing in our people and the issue of girl-child education are some of the objectives of the ERGP.”
The Finance Minister, Mrs Ahmed, who was the leader of the Nigerian delegation, spoke of her various meetings with relevant IMF and World Bank organs, Central Bank Governors, credit and rating agencies, among others.
She pointed out that in her capacity as the representative of 23 African countries, she addressed the IMFC and issued a statement calling for normalization of trade relations among the contending parties as well as called for concerted efforts to support multilateralism and avoid protectionist sentiments.
Mrs Ahmed said she was encouraged by the prospects of the resolutions at the various meetings which signposts a better economic future for Nigeria and Africa.