By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—The Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma has said the 7 per cent Economic Recovery Growth Plan, ERGP target by 2020 is no longer achievable.
The minister disclosed this yesterday at the end of tenure briefing in Abuja.
He, however, expressed optimism that the growth target set by the administration to fully recover from recession would be accomplished in the second term of the President as plans had already been put in place to attain the set goal.
Udoma, who expressed satisfaction with the incremental growth so far recorded in the economy, attributed it to the doggedness of the economic team.
He, however, noted that the 2 percent GDP growth recorded in the first quarter of 2019 was not acceptable to the government.
His words: “The ERGP targets of 7 percent are not likely to be achieved in 2020 but I believe it will be achieved in the President’s second term. What we need to do when something is working is to work harder.
“The 2 percent growth is a weak growth because we will like Nigeria to grow at 6.5 percent. But the key thing is the direction of the movement. We must continue to stay focused and we will surely get there.”
He said the total capital budget releases in this administration for three consecutive budgets of 2016, 2017 and 2019 to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs was N4.33 trillion, while the implementation for 2019 is yet to kick off.
He said: “In 2015, the capital budget for education was N23.52billion; in 2016, it was increased to N35.99billion; In 2017 it increased to N56.81billion; in 2018, it was increased to N102.91billion.
“In health, in 2015, it was N22.68billion; in 2016 it was N28.65 billion, in 2017 it was N55.61 billion, 2018, N86.49 billion.
“This does not include the National Health Act implementation which was N55.15 billion. We are the first administration to begin to implement that.
“ That gives an indication of the thrust of the policy.
However, we still have a long way to go to deliver the objectives that we want.’’
“In health and education, we have to take into account the spending of the states but we are where we should be.”
We are not satisfied where we are but you can the direction of spending.”
Responding to questions on budget releases, the
Director General of Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze explained that the allocations to other agencies government cannot be separated from the total capital budget for the year in question.