Udo Udoma, Minister of Budget and National Planning yesterday assured the public that the Federal Government would ensure that the 2018 appropriation bill is submitted to the National Assembly in October as earlier stated.
Mr. Udoma gave this promise at a retreat on the Implementation of Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which was initially launched in April by President Muhammadu Buhari. The President hoped for it to help in the process of bringing the country out of economic recession. The retreat aimed at preparing for the 2018 budget, held in Abuja with the theme ‘Building Synergy for Effective Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) Implementation’
Mr. Udoma said the government plans to send the 2018 – 2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) which targets an economic growth rate of 3.5% by 2018, 4.5% by 2019 and 7% by 2020 and the Fiscal Strategy Paper (FSP) initially approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to the Federal lawmakers in September as they are on break presently.
He stated that the government would stick to its commitment on the 2018 budget submission in October. On the purpose for the retreat, Udoma mentioned that it was an avenue to discuss the ERGP, preparations for 2018 budget and connection of the recovery plan to the budget, as well as a review on each stage of implementation.
Meanwhile, training of staff of the budget office towards preparation and implementation of the 2018 budget which lasted for three days has been completed. The training, which took place in the six geopolitical zones of the country, had over 4,000 participants in attendance.
The aim of the training was to prepare participants for 2018 budget preparation using Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS) in order to make the work easier as well as reduce cost.
Commenting on the speech given by Idris Jala, a Former Malaysian cabinet Minister during the retreat, the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo stated that the Federal Government will no longer accept excuses that progress was unachievable.
According to him,
“We simply have to accept that there is nothing Nigerian about failure, because as we know in our personal lives, failure and success are commodities on offer to everyone all over the world and every individual and every country makes a choice of which to buy and I will say on our behalf that we will choose success”