Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma has said that the Federal Government is making good progress in its efforts to revive and resuscitate the economy.
The minister, who admitted that the economy is not yet sufficiently diversified, called on all the stakeholders to work together to achieve a new Nigeria, stressing the need for Nigeria to reduce its dependence on crude oil for earnings.
Udoma stated this in his keynote address at the 42nd yearly conference of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN).
He said: “We will be able to feed ourselves and have extra for export. We will be able to manufacture many of our basic requirements. We will be able to grow our non-oil exports to overtake our oil exports in value. We have been implementing the ERGP for only 18 months.
“If we stay the course and continue implementing the programme in a focused and consistent manner, we will surely have the Nigeria of our dreams where we grow what we eat, consume what we make and produce what we use.”
Similarly, the conference chairman, Olusegun Osunkeye, who called for a desperate need to diversify to move the country towards a resilient economy, said Nigeria needs a 10-year development plan that would be reviewed every five years, irrespective of which party is in power or government.
Earlier, the President and Chairman of Council, ICSAN, Samuel Kolawole called on political parties and the present administration to ensure that the diversification agenda is sustained.
On the theme of the conference, ‘Exploring the Diversification Agenda Towards the Emergence of a Resilient Economy’, Kolawole noted that the theme was apt considering the challenges Nigeria is grappling with and the need to development strategies that are aimed at creating economic prosperity amongst Nigerians.
He stated that the conference was one of the cardinal programmes of the institute aimed at the promotion of good governance practices within and outside the corporate world.
He explained: “The institute advocates the need for the country to diversify its abundance of resources so that Nigeria economy can be resilient and thus create the enabling environment for investment and more job opportunities.
“We are aware and we agree that this is the period of different political parties making their intents and manifestos known as they begin campaigns, but we insist that the drive for us to diversify the economy to multiple sources should not be pushed aside.”
As part of the institute’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the institute distributed books to selected schools in Lagos, as well as honour personalities who have distinguished themselves in the promotion of corporate governance.
It also conferred Honourary membership on the founder and chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Afe Babalola; founder of Emzor Pharmaceuticals Plc., Stella Okoli, Chairman of Unilever and Obi of Onitsha, Nnameka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe and a management consultant, Micheal Omolayole.