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Synopsis of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017-2020)

The Nigerian economy is driven largely by crude oil. Crude oil accounts for more than 95% of Nigeria’s exports and foreign exchange earnings. The real sector of the economy accounts for a paltry 1% of total exports. Until recently, the negative effects of this lopsided and fragile economic structure were not immediately felt as they were masked by oil windfalls. The sharp decline in crude oil prices since the last quarter of 2014 has exposed the vulnerability of our substantially mono-product and undiversified economy, leading to a deep recession in the second quarter of 2016. Combining with declining oil prices is a host of other challenges in the oil sector, including sabotage of oil export terminals in the Niger Delta and effects of long term underinvestment. This has negatively impacted government revenue and export earnings, as well as the fiscal capacity to prevent the economy from contracting.

In a bid to revive the economy, the current administration had, as a short-term move, developed the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP) for the 2016 Budget of Change which featured 6 Strategic Intervention Areas (SIA) one of which was improving the “Ease of Doing Business” and making Nigeria more attractive as an investment destination. In order to effectively implement its strategies, Government put in place a number of policies. These included the liberalisation of the exchange rate regime, elimination of subsidies for refined petroleum products, implementation of the treasury single account, establishment and constitution of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (“PEBEC”) and intensification of the fight against corruption. As a further development from the SIP, a medium term plan, christened the Economic Recovery & Growth Plan 2017 – 2020 (the “ERGP” or the “Plan”), was unveiled by the Vice President on behalf of the Federal Government and is being carefully explained and its implementation co-ordinated by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning (“MBNP”).

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