OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari said on Tuesday that the Federal Government has so far saved over N120 Billion from the elimination of ghost workers from the public service and another N108 billion from bank charges as a result of the implementation of the Treasury Single Account.
Speaking at the conferment of the National Productivity Order of Merit Award on 15 Nigerians and Five companies, the President said programmes put in place by the current government has begin to yield fruits as shown in the decline of the rate of inflation to 12.5 percent as at May 14, 2018.
He explained that the recession witnessed by Nigeria in 2016 was as a result of the over dependence on a single commodity by Nigeria and the unprecedented looting of the nation’s treasury, adding that the current challenge before the government is how to sustain the recovery and ensure growth.
He said: “As you are already aware, our country, recently witnessed a tough economic period of recession attributed mainly to over dependence on a single export commodity as well as the unprecedented looting of the treasury. With our determined efforts, we were able to exit recession. The challenge before us now is how to sustain the recovery and ensure growth.
“The Economic Recovery and Growth plan (ERGP) of this administration targets a 7% growth rate by 2020, driven by strong none oil sector growth in agriculture, solid minerals, manufacturing, information technology and services.
“Our aim is to change our narratives from an import dependent, consumption driven and undiversified economy to a producing nation where we grow what we eat and consume what we make. Our effort in this regard is beginning to pay off as most indices by which an economy could be measured are looking bright.
“Our foreign reserve has risen to 47 billion USD as at April 9th 2018 as against 29.6 billion USD in May 2015. The inflation rate had dropped to 12.5% as at 14th May 2018, making it the 15th consecutive month of fall. The implementation of the Treasury Single Account (ISA) has stopped the pilfering of the Treasury.
“Some 108 billion Naira has been saved from Bank charges. Over 120 billion Naira has also been saved from the elimination of ghost workers in the public service. We have also made steady progress in our diversification programme especially in Agriculnne and Mining.
“The goal of this Administration is to move Nigeria forward to become a strong, strategic and proactive state through a deliberate, pragmatic and productivity conscious programine of action.“We want to rebuild Nigeria into a competitive, virile, strong and productive economy; a state whose citizens are creative, innovative, responsive, accountable, incorruptible, patriotic and diligent.
“The public service as the organ of Government responsible for the formulation and implementation of government policies has a critical role to play in this new dispensation. Government will hold the public servants collectively and individually responsible for the planning and implementation of its programmes”.
Speaking on the determination of the present government to eliminate corruption in the country, the President said “Corruption is an anathema to productive growth of any economy.“We must leave no stone unturned in tackling the monster. Corruption is dangerous and cancerous to the nation, and this administration is prepared to exterminate it. We are therefore resolute in our commitment to fight corruption in all its virulent forms in our national life.”
The President directs the establishinent of Productivity and Efficiency Units in all government offices and asked the private sector to also enjoined to take advantage of policies and initiatives of government to boost investment, create wealth and increase productivity.
He directed that the National Productivity Centre shall be encouraged and empowered to ensure the implementation of this directive as well as to carry out its mandate of ensuring a productive nation.
He said his administration was committed to rewarding hardwork and excellence. It is in this regard that we have placed great premium on the National Productivity Order of Merit (N POM) Award as an award of honour and dignity. We have therefore been consistent in the yearly conferment of the award on deserving Nigerians and Organizations.
In this regard, he said the government has approved the conferinent of the National Productivity Order of Merit Award for 2018 on fifteen (15) individuals and five (5) organizations whose names and citations would be read out shortly.
He reminded Nigerians of the cardinal role of productivity to national economic growth As the recovery in our economy gathers momentum, there is need for every Nigerian to develop a productivity mindset for continuous improvement. This would ensure total recovery and sustainable growth in all sector of the economy.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris NGIGE said a total of 327 Nigerians and 80 Organisation have so far been conferred with the award since its inception in 1991.The Minister said the nation’s developmental experience has so far proven that without higher level of productivity, the standard of living of Nigerians will remain abysmally low, adding that the importance of productivity is further underscored by the fact that the world is now a global village where goods and services of other nations can easily be accessed.
He said over the years, successive government in the country have attached great importance to improving the quality and quantity of goods and services available for consumption in Nigeria as a means of increasing g total wealth.
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