6 months later, no implementation road map for economic recovery plan
There is no implementation road map yet for Nigeria’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) six months after the federal government made the plan public.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, on December 20, 2016, presented the ERGP to the National Economic Council and thereafter, formally released the plan to the public on March 7, 2017.
The plan was crafted to restore growth in the economy after 2016 economic meltdown, invest in people and build a competitive economy.
In addition to projecting a 6 to 7 per cent Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth and recovery by 2020, the plan identified revenue sources to plug fiscal deficit and boost reserves as well as implement bold structural reforms in the areas of power, road, railways, public service reform and competitiveness.
President Muhammadu Buhari on April 5, 2017 formally inaugurated the plan in the presidential Villa, Abuja, implying the document had been rolled out for implementation.
“I am pleased to present this Economic Recovery and Growth Plan for use by the Nigerian people, our friends and partners and to guide our development efforts over the next four years,” the President said.
Economists, including the Head of the Department of Economics, University of Abuja, Professor Sarah Olanrewaju Anyanwu, and a professor of Economics from the University of Uyo, Professor Leo Ukpong, separately lauded the plan but warned that implantation may stall it.
The economists separately told the Daily Trust that Nigeria was not in want of good plans but implementation had been the problem over the years.
Shortly after the plan was launched, it quickly turned out that the document lacked implementation road map and cost implication analysis, which were shortcomings Udoma said would be remedied. On May 2, he told stakeholders that his Ministry had begun preparation of implementation road map for the ERGP, indicating that the ERGP could not be implemented alone without a road map. “This will lay out the road map for a step-bystep delivery of each of the strategies. Each strategy would be further broken down into components, activities, sub-activities and actions,” he said. Five months later, the Ministry is yet to release the implementation road map, calling to question whether the targets set in the plan can be achieved before the 2020 terminal date of the document.
Meanwhile on April 27, the Ministry’s Director of Macro Analysis, Tunde Lawal, told the Nigerian Economic Society (NES) that the FG had started a detailed cost analysis and financing implication of the ERGP, indicating the cost implication was not factored into the ERGP.
At the moment, there are no indications that the cost analysis and financing implication for the ERGP have been finalised because the Ministry is yet to make the details public.
Speaking on the development, an economist, Dr Joe Ikenna, told the Daily Trust that the recovery plan needed a road map to specify how the targets are to be achieved.
“The plan has more of goals and targets than how to achieve the goals and targets,” he said.
Dr Ikenna stated that it is in the interest of the federal government to do everything within its powers to implement the plan and pull the country out of recession.
He said the authorities concerned should fast track the development of the implementation blueprint to save the plan.
“The economy is still in a bad state. There has to be farreaching measures to turn things around. Implementing the recovery plan can be a plus to the economy,” he said.
He expressed fears that if the implementation road map is not quickly released to complement the recovery plan, its terminal date of 2020 may not be enough to achieve the targets, including a positive GDP of up to 7 per cent.