Experts want government to focus on transport, power to meet economic growth target

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Financial analysts have urged the Federal Government to concentrate on transportation and power sectors to meet the seven per cent growth target envisaged in the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).

Mr Johnson Chukwu and Mr Boniface Ekezie stated this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday, March 9.

Chukwu, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Cowry Asset Management, Lagos, said massive investments in key infrastructure such as transportation and power would accelerate the achievement.

“It is realisable to meet the forecast if government invests massively or allows alternative means to fix the critical asset challenge.

“Another means of fixing the challenges is to allow more public/private partnership or allow the entire liberalisation of the sector.

“These models are one of the quickest ways of meeting the various infrastructural gaps impeding the economic growth of the country,’’ Chukwu said.

According to him, there is the need to rapidly revive the macroeconomic sector, while reducing the burden of doing business. This, he said, would place the country as an economic hub in the continent.

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He noted that reforming the civil service was also neccesary to ensure that the seven per cent growth rate national economic target was realised.

“Reform in the civil service is imperative as it is the wheel of execution, training and retraining for optimal performance,” he said.

Ekezie, the President of Progressives Shareholders Association of Nigeria, commended the Federal Government’s economic recovery plan.

According to him, the plan is sacrosanct, especially in an era of economic difficulty.

He said that the inauguration of the policy was long overdue, considering the economic challenges the country faces.

“Over the years, the country had good and remarkable programmes, but adequate implementation had always been the problem.

“The country’s economic team has to be more meticulous and it should involve all government agencies and departments to execute the plan.

“The government needs to be more ingenious to relieve the people from many of their economic woes through its programmes,’’ he said.

The Ministry of Budget and National Planning on Tuesday in Abuja released the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017–2020, titled ‘Medium Term Economic Plan’.

The three broad objectives outlined in the ERGP are: restoration of economic growth, investing in the Nigerian people, and building a globally competitive economy.

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The ERGP targets real GDP growth rate of 4.6 per cent on average over the period between 2017 and 2020.

To achieve this, the government projects 2.19 GDP growth rate in 2017, up from -1.5 per cent recorded in 2016. The government forecasts that the economy would accelerate to seven per cent GDP by 2020.

In seeking a stable macroeconomic environment, the plan seeks to reduce inflation from 18.72 per cent recorded in January 2017 to single digit by 2020.

The outlook for the plan also includes investment in agriculture to drive food security and self-sufficiency in tomato paste, rice and wheat, among other staples.

(Source: NAN)

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