Until the mid-1950s, Nigeria used to be an agriculture-based economy. Nonetheless, after the discovery of 13.75 sq. km. Oloibiri oilfield in 1956 and many others subsequently, the country shifted to be an oil-based economy originating country’s 70-90% of revenue from it. With the current waning oil price crisis, the country stirred to diversify its sources of income. President Muhammadu Buhari who elected to the office in 2015 has launched the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 on 5 April 2017. The President urged citizens to support the plan to change the fate of the country making Nigeria a self-sufficient, inclusive and diversified economy.
In the previous year, the growth of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country was logged 1.54% showing the bottommost growth over the period of 25 years and following a 2.8% growth in 2015 as reported in the Ministry of Budget and National Planning’ ERGP proposal. The proposal also projected an average GDP growth of the country by 4.62% over the span of 2017-2020 achieving 2.19%, 4.80%, 4.50% and 7.00% in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 GDP growth respectively. While the World Bank Global Economic Report has anticipated that in 2017, Nigeria will attain 1% GDP growth and it will get out of recession.
The ERGP is the idea of the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. However, the ministry has consulted with varied group of stakeholders including the national assembly, state governments, the country’s businesspersons, labour unions, educational institutions and the civil society groups in order to develop a well-measured, comprehensive plan as well as to have their full support at the time of implementation. By the next four years, the ministry will be executing about 60 initiatives within the five prioritised areas.
These areas include stabilising the macroeconomic environment, accomplishing the agriculture and food security, expanding energy infrastructure capacities, developing conveyance infrastructure and encouraging industrialisation involving local and small businesses mainly. The core values consisting of discipline, integrity, social justice, self-reliance and patriotism of the country will be taken care of at all times in order to achieve the ERGP. Furthermore, the plan will aid in fortifying and stimulating the national solidity and social inclusion. It will also create special values in the resources blessed with this country developing them excellent in quality on affordable rate.
The plan is third main promise made by the President during his election campaign including restoration of security, eliminating corruption and fixing the economy. If the implementation of the plan takes place as it designed, the country will convert into an export-based country. In brief, by the year 2020, Nigeria will achieve a single-digit inflation rate from 19 of the current. It will have 7% of GDP growth from 1.54% of the present.
It will become net exporters of key agricultural products including rice, cashew nuts, groundnuts, cassava and vegetable oil. It will enjoy well-connected means of transportation (road, rail and port). It will own 10 GW power capacity. It will attain an average annual growth of 8.5% in the manufacturing sector from -5.8% of 2016. It will reduce 2.7% of the unemployment rate in 13.2% of the current by creating 15 million new jobs. Moreover, it will witness stability in the exchange rate, less demand for foreign exchange and an enhancement in the poverty rate.