By James Michael Igiri
Just a few hours after The Liberal Forum, Nigeria (TLF) issued a communiqué stating their
position on the state of the economy, the way forward for recovery and development, the
Federal Government has announced that it expects the economy to climb out of recession,
and grow by 2.1% this year.
This was revealed by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, when it announced the
new Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020.
The Guardian, reports that a statement made available to the media by Akpandem James, the
Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator, Udoma Udo
Udoma, shows the ERGP focuses on achieving macroeconomic stability and economic
diversification by undertaking fiscal stimulus, ensuring monetary stability and improving the
external balance of trade.
The ERGP, which aims to increase oil production to 2.5 million barrels per day and for
Nigeria to become a net exporter of refined petroleum products by 2020. The goal of the
ERGP is also to increase export earnings and government revenues by an additional 800
billion naira a year.
Under the plan, the government also expects to earn 35 billion naira from the sale of some
national assets, including oil joint ventures, and reducing stakes in other oil and non-oil
The government said it would review and possibly remove a ban on accessing foreign
exchange for 41 goods and services. Nigeria hopes to improve tax collection to raise 350
billion naira per annum, in part by boosting a luxury goods tax to 15%. The goal is to
increase the overall tax to GDP ratio to 15% from 6% between 2017 and 2020.
In the agriculture sector, the Federal Government wants self-sufficiency in rice by 2018 and
in wheat by 2019 or 2020, and hopes to be a net exporter of rice, cashew nuts, groundnuts,
cassava, and vegetable oil by 2020, according to the plan.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday, released $100 million into the
interbank market, pushing the exchange rate at the parallel market down to 440naira per
CBN Acting Director of Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, said that
the latest dollar injection by the apex bank brings the amount so far pumped into the
interbank forex market within the last two weeks to $1.14 billion.