By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udo Udoma, has reaffirmed plans by the Federal Government to achieve a single digit inflation rate for the country by the year 2020.
Mr Udoma, while speaking on Thursday at a public forum, specifically said government was targeting an inflation rate of 9 percent within the next three year.
Data released last week by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that inflation in Nigeria eased further to 16.10 percent in June 2017.
In the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, inflation was almost hitting 19 percent, hitting 18.72 percent in January this year. But efforts made by the government have resulted in the rate dropping in the last five months.
The Minister, while speaking yesterday at a public consultation on the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), media and the organized private sector at the Federal Ministry of Finance Headquarters Abuja, noted that the country’s economy was recovering.
He said conscious efforts were being made by the government to achieve the 9 percent inflation rate in Nigeria.
The said the perfect example of such was the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Paper.
Mr Udoma noted that the MTEF and FSP would provide the medium-term framework for the Federal Government’s financial projections for the next three fiscal years.
He explained that components of the document usually include the exchange rate, inflation rate, oil benchmark, revenue target, review of the previous year’s expenditure and revenue performance, as well as the global economic outlook, promising that the documents would be submitted to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in two weeks’ time.
According to him, the Federal Government targets to bring down inflation rate to 15.74 percent in 2017, 12.45 percent in 2018 and 9 percent by 2020.
In addition, he said the MTEF and FSP would help to achieve returning the country to the January-December budget cycle.
Also commenting on the issue, the Minister of State Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmad, said that the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP), which contains all the components of the 2018-2020 MTEF and FSP, was based on three strategic objectives namely; Restoring and sustaining growth, investing in our people and thirdly, building a globally competitive economy.
She however, warned that Nigerian population was growing at 3 percent which may not be sustainable.
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