Economic Crisis: Buhari calls for new ideas says PDP most unfit to demand Resignation - EazyFeeds

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Friday 16 September 2016

Economic Crisis: Buhari calls for new ideas says PDP most unfit to demand Resignation

As he strives to stem the national econ­omy from total col­lapse, President Mu­hammadu Buhari has called on his economic team and other stakeholders to come up with fresh ideas on the way forward.
The President particularly tasked ministers to think out of the box so that his administra­tion can promptly bring out the economy from the woods.
He hinted of his resolve to slash the 2017 capital budgets of some ministries in order to fo­cus on priority projects and pro­grammes.

The President disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday at the opening session of a Ministerial Retreat on the Economy and the Budget with the theme: “Building Inter-Ministerial Synergy for Effective Planning and Budgeting in Nigeria”, organised by the Ministry of Budget and Nation­al Planning.
The retreat, which was held at the State House Banquet Hall, was attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Ministers, Per­manent Secretaries, and some economic experts such as Bis­mark Rewane, Bode Agusto, Obadiah Mailafiya, Ayo Teri­ba, and Frank Nweke Jnr, who served as resource persons.
Buhari, who sat through the first session of the retreat, pointed out that it came at a time when the Nigerian econo­my is in recession, with signifi­cant downturn in performance in various sectors.
He said: “Given that this re­treat is a lead-up to the 2017 Budget, my expectation is that we will come out of these ses­sions with a determination and common position on how to have improved synergy amongst the various Ministries and De­partments for the effective for­mulation and implementation of the 2017 Budget.
“I also trust that the special sessions will enable you to dis­cuss extensively the details of the four sub-themes and come up with practical solutions on the way forward in order to come out with a set of prioritised pro­jects and programmes that will fit into the 2017 Budget.
“In this regard, let me in­form you that because of the need to focus on our key prior­ities, some ministries may get significantly less capital alloca­tions than they received in 2016, while others may get more,” he said.
The President explained that over the years, economic growth had been impeded because of a mismatch between planned tar­gets and budgetary outcomes at the national and sectoral levels while MDAs had not significant­ly built consensus around com­mon national objectives.
He noted that “it is in this context that this retreat has been designed to discuss issues around the state of the economy and build consensus amongst cabinet members and top gov­ernment officials.
“The retreat will also serve as an opportunity to have a gener­al overview of the economy and discuss the framework for the 2017 Budget, its key priorities and deliverables.”
Buhari said he was keen to listen to the views from experi­enced economists and develop­ment experts on how best to im­plement plans to rid the country of its oil dependence and to di­versify the economy and bring the country out of the current economic recession, in line with the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) of the government’s Change Agenda.
He declared that “the chal­lenges we face in the current re­cession require ‘out-of-the-box thinking’ to deploy strategies that involve engaging mean­ingfully with the private sector, to raise the level of private sec­tor investment in the economy as a whole.”
This explained the participa­tion of non-spending agencies such as the Infrastructure Con­cession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the National Sovereign Investment Authori­ty (NSIA) and the National Pen­sion Commission (PENCOM), at the retreat.
The President reiterated his plea for support and cooper­ation from Nigerians towards his efforts, saying that “while government is taking the lead in the task of repositioning our economy for Change, we can­not achieve this completely by ourselves.
Buhari stated that he was confident that the cabinet mem­bers will learn from the experi­ences of the resource persons and facilitators to prioritise their sector programmes and projects to bring the country out of the current economic recession and place it on the path of growth and development.”
PDP most unfit to demand Buhari’s resignation - FG
Meanwhile, the Feder­al Government has chided the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for calling on President Buhari to resign because of the prevailing economic situation.
The government said that by the demand, the PDP was out to distract Buhari from its Change mission.
In a statement he issued in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Al­haji Lai Mohammed said: ‘’We are on a rescue mission to resus­citate Nigeria after the PDP left it in a coma, and the noise from the same PDP seems designed to sabotage the rescue efforts. But we are not deterred.’’
The minister said if the PDP had understood the meaning of shame, it would not never have dared to make a single comment on the same economy that it ru­ined.
‘’While the PDP was emas­culating Nigeria on all fronts, including social, economic and political, the rapacious party was deceiving Nigerians by giv­ing them the illusion of growth and prosperity. Instead of show­ing remorse and rebuilding itself to a strong opposition party, the PDP has continued to blame the Buhari administration which is left to pack their mess. The PDP undertakers have continued to engage in a blame game, when they should be hiding from the shame they brought upon them­selves and the nation,’’ he said.
Mohammed said that the government will not stop talk­ing about the past because it is impossible to forget so soon that “our foreign exchange reserves plummeted from $62 billion in 2008 to $30 billion by 2015, at a time when oil prices were at a historic high, reaching a lev­el of $114 per barrel in 2014. By comparison, Indonesia, anoth­er oil-producing economy with a high population, increased its reserves from $60 billion in 2008 to $120 billion in 2015.”

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