FG determined to put economy on sound footing, says Osinbajo
• Acting president urges religious tolerance,hosts Lamido Sanusi in Aso Rock
Acting President Yemi Osinbajo yesterday said the Federal Government was determined to put the economy on a sound footing through the diligent implementation of the national economic recovery and growth plan (NERGP).
He disclosed this yesterday in Abuja at the end of a two-day retreat with captains of industry and heads of various chambers of commerce and industry in the country.
While acknowledging that there is suffering in the land occasioned by the current economic downturn, the acting president pointed out that the years of deterioration and corruption cannot be remedied overnight.
Osinbajo said that notwithstanding, it is the responsibility and duty of government to ensure that the economy is put back on a sound footing and the slide in economic fortunes arrested for the benefit of the people.
In the short term, Osinbajo said government had intervened in several ways to mitigate the sufferings of the people, including giving bailouts to state governments to enable them pay salaries of workers.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, also said major emphasis would be on implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the NERGP as government planned to set up a specially staffed delivery unit to drive implementation.
Udo Udoma said the plan being discussed is a medium-term, which is expected to drive Nigeria to a minimum GDP growth rate of 7 per cent within the plan period.
At another two-day workshop for commissioners of economic planning and budget on the implementation of the National Economic Council Retreat Resolutions in Abuja, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed stated that government would implement fully all the 71-point resolutions reached to reverse the country’s negative growth trend.
Zainab Ahmed said that government planned to use Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) mechanism to achieve effective implementation of the resolutions, stating that M& E was a critical component of the NERPG.
The acting president in Benin City, Edo State at the conference of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) Tuesday night, faulted the claims that the Federal Government had not acted fast enough to curtail the killings in southern Kaduna.
He noted that the religious violence being witnessed in parts of the country was not peculiar to the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.
The message, however, stirred little noise at the well-attended crusade, which had on its roll call the likes of Pastor William Kumuyi, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastors Enoch Adeboye and Ayo Oritsejafor as well as the fellowship’s national president, Rev Felix Omobude, among others
He recalled that religious intolerance dated back to 1979 with the Matatsine clash, which left many dead, stressing that for Christians to live eternally, they must die for the gospel.
Meanwhile, Osinbajo met with the Emir of Kano, Mohammed Sanusi Lamido Sanusi II yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.The Emir did not speak to newsmen who approached him after the meeting.
He said: “you can just report that I came to the Villa.”Although no official reason was given, the monarch may have visited to offer advice on how best the economy could be run to get the country out of the recession.The former CBN governor had criticised the Federal Government over its plan to secure $30 billion foreign loan.