Senate to engage Finance Minister on 2017-2020 economic recovery plan
By Benjamin Arida://
Senate has mandated its Committees on National Planning; Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions; Marine Transport; Land Transport; Works and Power to engage the Minister of Finance, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, on the Federal Government’s elapsed Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP between 2017 and 2020.
The decision to engage the Finance Minister was reached amid a resolution by the upper legislative chamber after it considered a motion “on the need to critically assess the performance of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP 2017-2020″ sponsored by Senator Abdu Suleiman Kwari (APC Kaduna North).
In his presentation, Senator Kwari noted that the four year Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP 2017-2020, which was the source document of Nigeria’s four years Appropriations Act had elapsed.
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, launched the Plan in April, 2017 to ensure the actualization of a sustainable inclusive growth of the economy.
According to the lawmaker, “The plan was targeted at achieving a structural economic transformation with emphasis on improving the efficiency of both the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy”
He further informed that the key objectives of the plan were to increase our national productivity, achieve a sustainable diversification of production, significantly grow our economy by seven percent by the year 2020, maximize the welfare of our citizens and attain food and energy security.
Senator Kwari was worried that the four-year plan, which has now elapsed, “cannot be said to have met our desired socio-economic aspiration.”
He therefore stressed the need for stock taking to critically assess the performance of the ERGP in order to ascertain whether the Plan has met the desired goals now that it has technically come to an end.
The lawmaker lamented the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world economy, as well as its consequent effects on the Nigerian economy, which, according to him, had adversely affected the implementation of the plan in 2020.
He further stressed that it is the solemn and constitutional duty of the National Assembly to assess the performances of the budgets as against the line items and objectives of the ERGP, on which it was based.
Accordingly, the Senate mandated the six committees to interface with the minister on the performance of the ERGP, which life span has elapsed and report back on the way forward within four weeks.