By Moses John Abuja Th ere are indications that the federal government would begin exportation of refi ned petroleum product in the next three years, bringing an end to the importation regime. Specifi cally, the country said it would at least, generate 10 GW of operational electricity capacity by 2020; and achieve self-suffi ciency in rice in 2018 and and wheat in 2020. Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, while speaking at the 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) and 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), yesterday in Lagos, said the current administration Economic Recovery and Growth Plan would transform Nigeria.
“Th ere will be 60% reduction in imports of refi ned petroleum products by 2018 and net exporter of refi ned crude by the year 2020,” he said. On the ERGP, Udoma said it was designed to achieve Average Real GDP growth of 4.6% over the Plan period, with seven per cent Growth Rate by the year 2020. Speaking further, the minister said the plan would lead to creation of 15 million new jobs by 2020, and reduction in unemployment rate from 13.9% in the third quarter of 2016 to 11.23% by 2020. “As is stated in the executive summary of the Plan, the role of government in the 21st century must evolve from that of being an omnibus provider of citizen’s needs into a force for eliminating the bottlenecks that impede innovation and market based solutions.
“Another way of putting it is that our role as government is to create the environment for the private sector to invest and create wealth and jobs so that the country can prosper.” He said the plan “is driven by fi ve principles which include removing the constraints to growth, particularly supply constraints in fuel, power and foreign exchange and to allow the market to function to drive optimal behavior amongst market participants.” NEC President, Mr. Larry Ettah, while commending government for the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, said if credibly implemented, it would resolve the problem of policy clarity and should also support better economic outcomes.