Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning has assured Nigerians that the economy would be better in 2018.
Udoma gave the assurance in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Mr Akpandem James in Abuja.
Udoma spoke at an economic forum organised by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Kings Court Parish in Lagos on Sunday.
The minister said that the economy would significantly be better in 2018 going by the consistent positive trend of key indicators since the country emerged from recession in the second quarter of 2017.
He said that international and local rating agencies had shared same view that the Nigerian economy would grow rapidly in the year.
Udoma said that the growth would create opportunities for investment in areas such as agriculture and agro-processing, industry, mining, construction and services.
The minister, however, assured that the Federal Government would continue to sustain the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
“The government is determined to lead in that effort and appealed to the private sector to respond to the various initiatives which the government has been rolling out.
“There is no doubt that more work needs to be done and we all must work together to achieve sustainable results.”
Udoma said the ERGP was designed to tackle constraints to growth, leverage the power of the private sector, promote national cohesion and social inclusion, allow markets to function and uphold our core values.
In addition, he said that the ministry had set up implementation unit to drive results in the implementation of the ERGP and to monitor the implementation of critical initiatives.
Udoma said the ministry would soon organise laboratories in the critical areas of Agriculture and Transportation, Power and Gas as well as Manufacturing and Processing.
He said that laboratories which would commence fully in the next few weeks would bring all the relevant stakeholders (public and private) into weeks of intensive working sessions.
According to him, the aim is to brainstorm on practical steps to overcoming identified challenges in the sectors.
Udoma, however, urged Nigerians to stop putting the country down through lack of confidence in the achievements of the government.
“Nigerians should develop confidence in our ability to take on challenges and the capacity to achieve positive results.
“This country has great potential, both material and human, but we need to harness these potential for the growth of the country and the benefit of our people,” he said.
Also, the Senior Pastor of the Kings Court Parish of the RCCG, Pastor Ben Akabueze, said he was very expectant of 2018 as all economic indicators showed that the year would be better than 2017.
Akabueze, who is also the Director General of the Budget Office of the Federation, said the Kings Court had been organising such economic fora annually.
He said that the Church had a duty to get the people to understand the marketplace and to approach the market with understanding and wisdom.