2018 budget: Osinbajo, ministers, perm secs hold retreat on ERGP implementation

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, members of the Federal Executive Council alongside Permanent Secretaries and heads of ministries Departments and Agents held a retreat at the State House Conference Center, Abuja.

The retreat was the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth plan (ERGP) and the 2018 budget preparation process with the theme “Building Synergy For Effective ERPG Implementation”.

President Muhammadu Buhari launched the ERGP in April with an expectation that it would bring the country out of economic recession.

The Federal Executive Council had, on Wednesday, approved the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) Fiscal Strategy Paper with plans already on to meet the October deadline of submitting the budget to the National Assembly.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, had told State House Correspondents at the post-FEC briefing, on Wednesday, that the MTEF targets an economic growth rate of 3.5 percent by 2018 and 4.5 percent by 2019 and seven percent by 2020.

Speaking on the essence of the retreat, Udoma said, “It was basically about the ERGP and preparations for the 2018 budget and linking the plan with the budget and we will be briefing cabinet members about the linkages between the plan and the budget. Basically we have to keep on reviewing at every stage, so this is review about where we are, what needs to be done and what steps we need to take in areas that we need to fast rack. We need to review what we are doing at the stage of implement. So this was the purpose of the meeting.”

On where the nation was after the review he said, “We are moving ahead in terms of the modalities that have been defined. This is not the time to actually say what stage and so on. We will be giving briefings and so on.”

On when the MTEFF will be sent to the National Assembly, he said, “National Assembly is on break so nearer the time they will resume in September but ours is to follow the fiscal responsibility acts which has some timelines and we are trying to keep strictly by those timelines.

“So the budget will get to the National Assembly by October that was our commitment. We will go all out to make that happen, we made a commitment that we will do that on our part and we intend to deliver on that commitment. This is a government that delivers on its promises.”

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