Zainab Ahmed, the minister of state for budget and national planing, says the government has started planning an economic recovery framework, to see the economy grow by three percent in 2017.
Speaking at the EU-Nigeria business forum on Friday, Ahmed said Nigeria is seizing the current economic crisis as a golden opportunity to reform the country’s economy to sustainable growth.
“My colleague, Senator Udo Udoma and I, were supposed to be here yesterday, but we are conducting at this moment a retreat for developing a new medium term, national economic plan that we call the recovery plan,” she said.
“As you know, the country is in a recession; high unemployment rate, high inflation rate, and the result of where we are today is that we are managing three major shocks.
“Crude oil price fall, fall in production, as well as the weakening of our currency. These negative developments have caused some terrible consequences in form of the insurgency activities in the Niger-Delta region as well as the terrorist activities in the north-eastern part of Nigeria.
“The consequences of this has been dire in terms of human lives, the local economy as well as social economic lives and the environment.
She said some progress has been made in the north east, with support from the European Union.
The minister said the country is working to diversify the economy away from oil, further inviting the EU business community to seize the available opportunity to invest in Nigeria’s non-oil sector.
Ahmed said the federal government is targeting a three percent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) for the year 2017, and much more in 2018 and 2019.
“It is my believe that the measures we have taken so far will in no distant future yield desired results, and in this wise, we have targeted a real GDP growth of three percent and four percent by the years 2017 and 2019.
“The government, we have started, just yesterday, a planning process for a new economic recovery plan spanning four year; 2017 to 2020. This plan will outline the growth trajectory over the medium term, and lay a solid foundation for structural reform of our economy.
She said the plan also addresses the vulnerabilities that our economy has to external shocks and place measures to attract foreign investments.