25 August 2016
The Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, said on Thursday in Kano that the Federal Government would continue to accord priority to infrastructure development in all its interventions in the country.
Osinbajo made the remarks at the 15th meeting of the Joint Planning Board and National Council on Development Planning.
He said that the Federal Government had made capital releases of over 50 per cent to Ministries, Departments and Agencies for the execution of various projects in line with the commitment.
Osinbajo said the National Strategic Planning was very critical to the attainment of structural transformation and sustainable development in the country.
“Strategic planning generally provides direction, coherence and coordination and they are veritable frameworks for guiding the activities of all stakeholders towards achieving a common goal,” he said.
The vice-president said the strategic planning for Sustainable Development Goals entailed partnership as enshrined in Goal 17 which emphasised the need for working with states for economic development.
He said the Federal Government adopted zero-based budgeting policy to allow for deployment of resources to areas and sectors of greatest needs.
Osinbajo said the Federal Government had also used short-term strategic implementation plan to guide the implementation of the 2016 budget.
He said the current administration also accorded top priority to agriculture for self-sufficiency and food security.
This, he said, was aimed at reducing the financial burden and pressure on foreign exchange resulting in importation of foods that could be produced locally.
“The mixture of support instruments and incentives would be used to bring about growth in sectors that are critical for economic revitalisation, especially in agriculture and agribusiness, among others,’’ he said.
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma, urged states to complement Federal Government’s effort in the area of agriculture and solid minerals development.
He said this was necessary in view of the fact that the country was endowed with arable land for massive production of food.
“The states may wish to target some selected crops for massive production of such commodities. They can boost production through the formation of farmers’ cooperatives for easy access to loan facilities,’’ the minister said.
He said the states could also undertake infrastructural development such as roads to ease evacuation of farm produce.
“This will promote economic growth through the creation of job opportunities for the teeming number of unemployed youths in the country,’’ he stressed.
He said the Federal Government was committed to the restructuring of the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) to enable it to give loans at single digit interest rate.
Kano State governor, Dr Abdullahi Ganduje, represented by his Deputy, Prof. Hafiz Abubakar, said the state government would collaborate with all relevant stakeholders to implement the recommendations of the meetings.