One of the major criticisms faced by the government of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has been its seeming lack of understanding of what to do when it comes to the economy. Under Buhari’s watch, Nigeria went into recession. Although, the recession was long coming, some analysts claim it could have been avoided, had the government put a good economic plan in place. The government had focused its strength on fighting corruption and hitting back at critics. One man many who voted for Buhari expected to help the government in the aspect of the economy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (now acting president) has not impressed until now; maybe he was now allowed to work as rumoured.
Since Osinbajo took over as acting president, the Nigerian economy has taken a good turn, with the naira strengthening and investor confidence improving. To drive the gains made in the past few weeks home, the government has now released the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which unveils a road map for Nigeria’s economic recovery, growth and sustainable development.
A statement by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning explained that the core vision of the Plan is one of sustained inclusive growth.
“There is an urgent need as a nation to drive structural economic transformation with an emphasis on improving both public and private sector efficiency. The aim is to increase national productivity and achieve sustainable diversification of production, to significantly grow the economy and achieve maximum welfare for the citizens, beginning with food and energy security.”
The Plan envisages that by 2020, Nigeria would have made significant progress towards achieving structural economic change with a more diversified and inclusive economy. Overall, the Plan is expected to deliver on 5 key broad outcomes, namely: a stable macroeconomic environment, agricultural transformation and food security, sufficiency in energy (power and petroleum products), improved transportation infrastructure and industrialization focusing on small and medium scale enterprises. These are expected to, in the short-term reduce inflation, with 2017 inflation seen at 15.74 percent, and at 12.42 percent in 2018.
According to the official economic plan, the central bank aims to achieve a market-determined exchange rate regime. The Nigerian government will also review and possibly remove a ban on accessing foreign exchange for 41 goods and services.
To ensure Osinbajo does not take credit for the ERGP like other smart economic moves to have happened under his watch, the ceremonial presentation of the Plan will be delayed until Buhari returns from vacation.
Download Nigeria’s ERGP here.