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FG Replies Bill Gates Over Comment On Buhari’s Economic Plan
|FG Replies Bill Gates Over Comment On Buhari’s Economic Plan by George: 6:45 am On March 24, 2018|
Several of today’s newspapers carried a story in which the philanthropist, Mr. Bill Gates is said to have taken issue with the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). It seems the context in which Mr. Gatesmade his remarks was not well understood.
A close reading of his statement shows that the point Mr. Gates was making was that the human capital development should have been explicitly indicated as part of the execution priorities of the ERGP. This is not the same as saying that the ERGP does not address human capital development or that Mr. Gates faulted Nigeria’s economic plans as some newspapers put it.
This development however provides an opportunity to clarify several things about the ERGP.
1. ERGP prioritises human capital development:
The ERGP sets out 60 strategies cutting across all sectors of the economy. Indeed, over one quarter of them (strategies 31 to 47) fall into the category of Investing in the Nigerian people. The execution priorities of the ERGP are restoring macroeconomic balance, achieving agriculture and food security, ensuring energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products, improving transportation infrastructure and driving industrialization through SMEs. These interventions were chosen because of their potential for fast-tracking economic recovery and expected contribution of the private sector to accelerating growth, which is one of the key principles of the ERGP. In other words, the execution priorities are catalysts for implementing all the strategies in the ERGP.
2. Human capital development spending has gone up:
For instance, capital allocations to education, including Universal Basic Education (UBEC), in the 2015 Budget was N91.903 billion, but the allocation was increased to N112.543 billion in 2016; N152 billion in 2017 and N170.79 billion is proposed for 2018 budget.
3. Focus on social intervention programmes
4. Collaboration with States to deepen human capital development:
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