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Buhari, Ministers Hold Emergency Retreat Over Economy

President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo are currently in a retreat with cabinet members discussing the state of the nation’s economy and strategies to get the country out of recession.

The one-day session holding at the State House conference centre, with the theme “Building inter-ministerial synergy for effective planning and budgeting in Nigeria” will also consider priority areas of the 2017 Budget.

Four key speakers including Obadiah Mailafia, Ayo Teriba, Birsmark Rewane and Bode Agusto will be making presentations during the closed technical session with the president.

They will be making presentations on Weaning the Economy out of oil dependence; Fiscal and Trade Policy options to get the economy out of recession; Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy options to get the economy out of recession and How to grow output and productivity in the Real Sector, respectively.

The Ministry of Budget and National Planning said in a statement on Wednesday that President Buhari would lead his deputy, who is the head of the economic team, along with ministers and heads of relevant federal ministries, departments and agencies to the meeting.

The Minister of Budget National Planning, Udo Udoma, said the meeting would also provide the forum for government to present and discuss priority areas of the 2017 Budget as realign its priority areas of the MDAs with national growth and development objectives.

“The key objective of the retreat is to discuss the 2017 Budget as well as discuss steps being taken to get the economy out of recession,” his spokesperson, Akpandem James, said in a statement.

“The meeting is part of a scheduled arrangement to fine-tune and set the right parameters for the 2017 Budget. It (the meeting) will provide an opportunity to discuss the framework of the 2017 Budget, the key priorities and the deliverables of the budget.

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“The retreat is expected to deliver improved understanding of the measures being taken to get the country out of recession; improve synergy among the various ministries for enhanced implementation of planning and budget and enhance knowledge of how to develop 2017 Budget to effectively link with the medium term plan.

“The meeting will also review prioritized projects and programmes of ministries to fit into the 2017-2019 MTSS, 2017-2020 Medium Term Plan and 2017 Budget; and improved understanding on Budget ceiling for MDAs for 2017 Budget,” he said.

The statement said the retreat became necessary, as years of the country’s growth and development have been impeded by mismatch between plan targets and budgetary outcomes at the national and sectoral levels due to lack of synergy between the various Federal MDAs.

About Editor

Otunba Sayo Akintola is a 1992 graduate of Linguistics from the University of Ibadan, Oyo State. He holds a post-graduate diploma in Financial Management and MBA from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi. He started his 12-year sojourn in journalism at the Nigerian Tribune in 1993 as Business and Economy reporter. He rose through the ranks to become the Group Business Editor of the nation’s oldest surviving private national newspaper, the Nigerian Tribune. He set up World Street Journal magazine in 2018.

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