Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has said the Muhammadu Buhari administration will no longer accept excuses that suggest that delivering sustainable socio-economic development to Nigerians is not attainable.
He spoke yesterday at the Cabinet Retreat on the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) and the 2018 Budget preparation at the State House, Abuja.
In a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Osinbajo said: “After listening to Dr. Idris Jala all I can say is as the opposition leader in Malaysia said, this is what I have been saying for the past 50 years!
“But seriously he is so right; the challenge is this, the discipline to be unreasonable in our targets and objectives. The discipline of attending the labs diligently and accepting to be locked in a room for as long as it takes to iron out what it is that needs to be done.
“I like the point also that Dr Jala made that the excuse that it won’t work here, the Nigerian factor, or some say exceptionalism, or the acceptance of failure before you even start is certainly not tenable any more.”
Osinbajo went on: “We simply have to accept that there is nothing Nigerian about failure, because as we know in our personal lives, failure and success are commodities on offer to everyone all over the world and every individual and every country makes a choice of which to buy and I will say on our behalf that we will choose success.
“Dr Jala, I have heard motivational speeches, but this is one I think that challenges our whole legitimacy as persons entrusted with leadership.
“I think it goes beyond motivational speech. I think it really challenges the core of our relevance as leaders and I am challenged and I know that many of us here are and I think that we will do what we need to do to make sure that we see through the labs that we have to identify specific areas where we will do this labs. We must see to it that this works.
“I want to thank you again for this exceptional moment you have taken us through and to thank all of you also for taking the time to come. So the work has just begun.”
Permanent Secretaries and heads of Ministries Departments and Agents (MDAs attended the retreat at the old Banquet Hall of the State House, Abuja.
The retreat, which is on the Implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the 2018 budget preparation. It was with the theme: “Building Synergy For Effective ERPG Implementation”.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the 2018-2020 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
At the end of the retreat, Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma told reporters: “It was basically about the ERGP and preparations for the 2018 budget and linking the plan with the budget and we will be briefing cabinet members about the linkages between the plan and the budget.
“Basically, we have to keep on reviewing at every stage. So, this is review about where we are, what needs to be done and what steps we need to take in areas that we need to fast track.
“We are moving ahead in terms of the modalities that have been defined. This is not the time to actually say what stage and so on. We will be giving briefings.”
On when the MTEFF will be sent to the National Assembly, Udoma said: “National Assembly is on break, so, nearer the time they will resume in September but ours is to follow the Fiscal Responsibility Act which has some timelines and we are trying to keep strictly by those timelines.”