According to reports, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, has noted that the administrations of former presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar Adua and Goodluck Jonathan had good economic plans, regretting however that they lacked the political will to implement the plans.
Speaking on Thursday at the second presidential economic communication workshop in Abuja, the minister held that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was taking critical steps to get the country out of the present recession.
She identified one of the steps as “growing non-oil exports in the light of the competitive and comparative advantage created by the depreciation of the naira following the introduction of a market effective exchange rate.”
While stating that the government was working at reducing the 17.8 percent inflation rate, she disclosed that there was an improvement in capital importation, which she said rose to 46 percent in the second quarter of the year.
Ahmed stated that the government believed that the global price of crude oil might be low for a long time, hence it was making plans to forestall further negative impact on the economy.
“We have had very good plans, from NEEDS, Seven Point Agenda to Transformation Agenda. All of them were good plans, but the political will to implement them was lacking,” she said.
The minister also disclosed that the 2017 budget was ready, but that her ministry was waiting for the approval of the medium term expenditure framework, MTEF, before the proposal would be presented to the national assembly.
“The 2017 budget is ready, but we need the MTEF to be approved so we can make adjustments if there is a need for an adjustment,” she added.