2016-2020 strategic plan to focus on robust growth – NPC
The National Planning Commission (NPC) has said that it will give priority to bring Nigeria’s economy back to the path of robust growth in its 2016-2020 Successor Strategic Plan.
Mr Bassey Akpanyung, Secretary to the Commission said this at the stakeholders’ Validation Session on the 2016-2020 Macroeconomic Framework for the Medium Term Successor Strategic Plan in Abuja.
Akpanyung said that the successor plan would focus on how to bring the economy back to the path of robust growth, while ensuring that growth was both inclusive and sustainable.
“ The macroeconomic objectives for the 2016-2020 plan seeks to correct the present macroeconomic imbalances with more stable inflation and exchange rate.
It will also “reduce poverty incidence and income inequality; foster strong, broad-based and sustainable growth accompanied by improved productivity and socially desirable outcomes.
He said it would “increase employment opportunities and reduce unemployment opportunities and ensure external viability, among others,’’ he said.
According to him, the underlying macroeconomic assumptions will be validated by the stakeholders against the background in the global economic growth.
The secretary said that the assumptions were based on the forecast that there would be improvement in the global economic growth and low prices of crude oil at the international market.
“Our forecast for crude oil market prices averages 61.08 dollars a barrel during the plan period.
“We have projected the benchmark for crude oil at lower price averaging 49.75 US dollars a barrel which is 11.3 US dollars below the market price during the period.
“This is expected to reduce volatility and uncertainties surrounding the intense global competition in the crude oil market,’’ he said.
In addition, he said that in line with global output, the projected Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth for the plan period averaged 5.11 per cent.
Akpanyung, however, urged the stakeholders to bring their wealth of experience to bear on the process by making useful contributions towards enriching the data, key macroeconomic assumptions and targets for the plan.
“This has become even more compelling, given that the outcome of the workshop is expected to feed into the 2016 Budget preparation process and beyond,’’ he said.
In a presentation, Mr Tunde Lawal, Director, Macroeconomic Analysis, NPC, said that a sound macroeconomic framework was the foundation for a realistic plan.
Lawal, who gave a presentation on “Macro-Economic Projections, Assumptions and Targets (2016-2020)’’, said it was a forecast of the key macroeconomic parameters under which the plan was envisioned to be implemented.
He said there was a need to caution that forecasts were usually at best, a good guess, adding the global environment was also dynamic.
Lawal said global environment was dynamic and many players and events outside the country’s control influenced the outcome of events that shaped the domestic environment.
“That explains why development experts within the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) would need to continually review their projections and forecast of microeconomic parameters,’’ he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Macroeconomic Framework that would be validated by the stakeholders was produced under the coordination of the NPC.
The director said that the quantitative indicators were based on the framework that provided a consistency check among macroeconomic variables.
“Our projections took into account the past trends, the current state of the domestic economy and the outlook of the global economic environment as well as the policy thrust of the plan which is derived from the change Agenda of the current administration.
“The projections are also consistent with the aspirations of the UN Post- 2015 Development Agenda / Sustainable Development Goals (2016-2030) to be adopted in New York, later this month,’’ he said.
NAN reported that no fewer than 70 participants from over 10 MDAs attended the workshop.