By Soni Daniel, Northern Region Editor
Abuja—Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, yesterday in Abuja met with Commissioners for Economic Planning and Budget matters in the states to address emerging socio- economic policy issues in the country.
It was the first of such meetings, which is intended to be held quarterly to exchange views and compare notes and address socio-economic issues, with a view to improving the state of the Nigerian economy and the well being of the people.
The Minister said the meeting was also designed to review the extent of implementation of the resolutions reached at the Joint Planning Board (JPB)/ National Council on Development Planning (NCDP) held in Awka, Anambra State in October last year.
According him, the theme of the meeting; ”Addressing emerging socio-economic issues” is apt and timely as it comes at a time the country is experiencing dwindling revenues occasioned by the declining price of crude oil in the international market.
Senator Udoma noted that this development has resulted in governments at all levels finding it difficult to meet certain financial obligations, a situation he said could hurt the national development process.
He was optimistic however that a close working relationship between the federal and state governments could create a better atmosphere for the articulation of policy measures aimed at diversifying the economy and reducing overdependence on the oil sector.
‘’I am pleased to inform you that the current administration is taking steps to address the various socio- economic challenges in the country,” he said.