Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, said on Monday Nigerians will not feel the impact of exit from recession fully until 2020.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) recently confirmed that Nigeria has exited recession.
The minister expressed his view at a strategic retreat organised by the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research (NISER), Ibadan, at the Training and Conference Centre, Ogere.
Udoma remarked that the NBS numbers was only a challenge to Nigerians to work harder so that the country can achieve the 7% growth rate desirable for total economic breakthrough by the year 2020.
He enjoined Nigerians to be more steadfast and join force with government in its determination to change the national economic trajectory in accordance with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) launched by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this year.
According to him, even though the Federal Government was estimating exiting recession by the 3rd quarter of 2017, the government was “encouraged by the NBS 2nd quarter numbers which showed that Nigeria had already exited recession.”
“Whilst this news is very encouraging, indeed, we appreciate that there is still a lot more work required for us to realise the full promise of the ERGP, which is to have a rapidly growing economy with diversified sources of growth, increased opportunities for all our people, and a socially-inclusive economy that reduces poverty and creates jobs for the millions of young people entering the labour market annually.
“In short, our job is not done until we have realised Nigeria’s full potential as a major player in the world economy.”
He expressed government’s commitment towards restoring growth from a negative trend in 2016 to 7% by 2020, and emphasised the need for Nigerians to partner with government through investment in human capital development by creating jobs and building a globally competitive economy.
In this regard, he said priority focus would continue to be on achieving agriculture and food security; stabilising the macroeconomic environment; ensuring energy sufficiency (in power and petroleum products); improving transportation infrastructure, and driving industrialisation focusing on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises.
The minister said NISER, the premier think tank and economic research institute for Nigeria, has an important contribution to make to achieve the goal.
According to him, the body would have to leverage its research activities on science, technology and innovation that would further build a knowledge-based economy and also guide policy-makers in their decision-making.
Speaking earlier, Folarin Gbadebo-Smith, Director-General of NISER, explained the objective of the retreat which was to critically discuss how to reposition and reinvigorate the institute for effective delivery of its mandate.