President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged his Cabinet Members to ‘think-out-the-box’ to get Nigeria out of the current economic recession.
He gave the charge on Thursday while speaking at the opening of the 2016 Cabinet Retreat with focus on the state of Nigerian economy.
The theme of the Retreat is: “Building Inter-ministerial Synergy for Effective Planning and Budgeting in Nigeria” and is being attended by all cabinet members, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, permanent secretaries, and directors from the MDAs.
According to the President, all the Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) need to build common consensus around common national objectives.
He also said that the federal government would continue to leverage on resources from the private sector to build critical infrastructure hence, the participation of some key non-spending agencies at the retreat.
President Buhari spoke further, “This retreat will also serve as an opportunity to have a general overview of the economy and discuss the framework for the 2017 Budget, its key priorities and deliverables.
“This retreat is coming at a critical time in our economic history, when the Nigerian economy is in a recession, with significant downturn in performance in various sectors.
“It is with regard to the importance of this retreat that I decided to sit through the first part of the session to listen to the views from experienced economists and development experts on how best to implement our plans to rid the country of its oil dependence and to diversify the economy and bring the country out of the current economic recession.
“You may notice that some key non-spending agencies, such as the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, the Bureau of Public Enterprises, the National Sovereign Investment Authority and the National Pension Commission are participants at this retreat.
“This deliberate inclusion underscores the commitment of this administration to leverage on private sector resources, through Public Private Partnerships and other arrangements, to augment the scarce budgetary resources at our disposal and to accelerate investments in building critical infrastructure.
“Indeed, the challenges we face in the current recession require ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking, to deploy strategies that involve engaging meaningfully with the private sector, to raise the level of private sector investment in the economy as a whole.
“While government is taking the lead in the task of repositioning our economy for change, we cannot achieve this completely by ourselves.
“We are confident that working together, we shall succeed.’’