Honourable Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma has made a rare move by engaging Civil Society Organisations and Organised Private Sector and other stakeholders at the consultative forum on 2017-2019 Medium – Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy today in Abuja. The event which took place at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa had various CSOs, Representatives of Organised Private Sectors as well as individual with SMEs across the country in attendance.
Senator Udoma, during his brilliant presentation at the event described the MTEF and Fiscal Strategy as a critical public financial management reform tools which provides the broad frame for annual budget planning and fiscal management over a 3-year period.
“MTEF describes government’s strategic socio-economic, developmental objectives and priorities that are consistent with government’s fiscal strategies to reposition the economy on the path of sustainable inclusive growth and development” he explained.
Udoma also added that the consultative engagement with CSOs and Private Sectors is in with the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007. He further buttressed the importance of the event as a way to stimulate discussion so as to receive public contributions towards designing a medium term fiscal strategy.
Assessing current economy downturn in the country and comparative perspectives of Nigeria economy with other developed economies, Honourable Minister said there is need for Nigeria to explore other means of pumping foreign currencies into the economy’ since the price of crude oil, the Nigeria’s mainstay from which Nigeria generates up to 95 percent of its Foreign Exchange has consistently been low during this period.
“Diversifying the economy from over-dependence on oil and by making huge investments in production in other sectors with great potentials to turn around the fortune of this nation such as agriculture, solid minerals as well as manufacturing is the way out” he posited.