Economic recovery’ll be driven by technology, innovation –Udoma

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Ifeanyi Onuba, Abuja

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udo Udoma, has said the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan will be driven by science, technology and innovation targeted at the youths.

Udoma stated this while receiving the Country Representative of the United Nations International Children Education Fund, Mr. Mohammed Malick, in Abuja.

A statement from his Media Adviser, Mr. Akpandem James, said government was working strategically to address the economic challenges of the country with appropriate attention focused on young people, who he described as the source of the country’s economic strength.

He said the ERGP, the country’s medium-term plan, was tailored in such a way that it would be driven largely by ideas and innovation, areas where the young people had comparative advantage, particularly in high-tech perspectives that would urgently transform the economy.

The minister was quoted to have told the UNICEF delegation that the Federal Government was ever ready to collaborate with development agencies who were in the country to assist in beneficial development programmes.

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He stressed the importance of financial assistance, adding that as important as funding was in executing programmes, it was not sufficient without ideas and technical assistance to guide spending.

He added that funding, technical support and good policies were the ingredients required for successful accomplishment of projects.

While acknowledging the UNICEF’s assistance efforts, particularly in the areas of health, water, sanitation and youth development, Udoma urged the organisation to always collaborate with his ministry in its project plans.

This, he noted, would help to avoid overlaps with the efforts of other multilateral agencies and donor partners; and duplication of provisions in the country’s development plans.

The minister explained that the growth plan which had been concluded was expected to deliver on five key outcomes.

They are stable macroeconomic environment, agricultural transformation and food security, sufficiency in energy (power and petroleum products), improved transportation infrastructure and industrialisation focusing on Small and Medium-Scale Enterprises.

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The plan envisages that by 2020, Nigeria would have made significant progress towards achieving structural economic change with a more diversified and inclusive economy.

Malick was quoted as saying that the organisation would continue to engage with the government on technical issues as well as make available experiences from different parts of the world towards tackling challenges.

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