- ‘We Won’t Tolerate Excuses on ERGP Implementation’
The Federal Government on Monday warned all heads of government agencies that it would not tolerate any excuse from them for not meeting their respective targets in the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita, and the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, gave the warning at a dialogue session with Permanent Secretaries and directors-general on the ERGP implementation road map in Abuja.
The ERGP, which was recently launched by President Muhammadu Buhari, has three broad objectives with five key execution priorities.
The objectives are restoring the country to a positive and sustained growth path, investing in the Nigerian people to improve their living standards, and building an economy that is globally competitive.
Oyo-Ita, who spoke first, called the attention of those who attended the meeting to the fact that in the past, the government had not been able to effectively implement some of its programmes.
She said while the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, had taken adequate measures to put in place a plan that was acceptable to all stakeholders in the economy, its holistic implementation was mainly that of the public sector.
She said, “Nigeria is known for having wonderful plans but what seems to be lacking is effective implementation. The implementation of government programmes lies with the public sector. I want to appeal to you the permanent secretaries and chief executive officers that this is not the time to pass the buck and make excuses.
“That is why we are meeting with you today and having this dialogue; we don’t want to hear excuses on how the ERGP will not work. What we need now are intelligent ideas on the way forward and I know we will succeed.”
On his part, Udoma said that the plan was the government’s strategy to change Nigeria from a nation of consumers that depended on imports for survival, to a self-reliant country of producers.
The minister admitted that in the past, the implementation of government programmes had not been too encouraging owing to lack of effective implementation strategies.
He added that the current administration was determined to reverse this trend.
Explaining how the economic recovery plan would be implemented, Udoma stated that the first step was for the government to focus on its priorities, adding that this would be followed by the establishment of clear accountability and development of detailed action plans.
He said other implementation strategies would involve mobilisation and allocation of resources to priority areas, creation of an enabling policy and regulatory environment, and setting up delivery units to monitor and drive progress.
The minister stated, “We are developing a road map for a step-by-step delivery of each of the strategies. Each strategy will be further broken down into component activities, sub-activities and actions.”
“Each action will then be supported by clearly assigned responsibilities, which will be sequenced against clear milestones and timelines for ease of monitoring. Accountability for the delivery of the ERGP lies with the lead MDAs for each strategy.”
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Fatimah Made, said the ministry was determined to ensure the success of the plan, adding that the need to get more inputs from stakeholders to guide the implementation process informed the dialogue.
She explained that the plan, if effectively implemented, would enable the government to stimulate economic activities.