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FG advocates public partnership in driving economic development as recession looms

.....Says stimulus package will rework economy

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Ikanade Agba has stressed on the need for public partnership in driving economic development programs as measures of preventing economic recession as posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister expressed concern over the core crises facing the country, said that issues relating to health, humanitarian, security, economy has remained prevalent in the country.

He said “Measures of preventing a deep economic recession could not, in the context of the current realities, be overemphasized.

“It is imperative to use the OGP to drive public participation and ownership of some of the programs put in place by the government in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic”.

“The issues that we have is the disconnect between government and the governed; and, because of this disconnect, there is some kind of lack of trust, no matter how good the intentions government programs are,” he stated.

Agba while addressing a virtual roundtable discussion, among state and non-state actors, international organizations and donor agencies, facilitated by the Nigeria’s secretariat of Open Government Partnership (OGP), stated that the provision of stimulus package by the Federal Government will go a long way in preventing the country from plunging into deep economic recession.

He noted that the meeting was to discuss the existing transparency mechanisms of government’s COVID-19 response and recovery plan and to further brainstorm on ways of improving existing mechanisms and systems.

“Mr President has signed up to the Open Government Partnership (OGP) just to ensure transparency and accountability and to ensure that we are able to engage our citizens as well as build trust in all that we do.”

“We have had about 12 consecutive quarters of growth since the recession we had in 2016, which led to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) being put in place.”

“There are indications that Nigeria might be heading into a deep economic recession because growth was about 1.4 per cent as against 2.5 per cent growth that the country had in the last quarter of 2019, hence the introduction of programs and economic activities that would engender growth as well as help prevent the country from plunging into deep recession.”

Earlier, the co-chair and CEO of OGP, Sanjay Pradhan said the meeting was critical at this time as it promote effective dissemination of information about the provision of massive stimulus package for the vulnerable groups and the MSMEs as well the commitment to create employment as well as protect jobs for the citizens of Nigeria.

“Jointly, stakeholders would achieve clarity in terms of road maps, roles and responsibility by collectively monitoring the money and ensuring it reaches to the beneficiaries”.

He said there would be a huge benefit to the Nigerian citizens who were made vulnerable by COVID-19 pandemic as Nigeria is a member of the steering committee of OGP.

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