• CBN intervenes in forex market again, releases $100m
The Federal Government expects the economy to climb out of recession and grow 2.19 percent this year, according to the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, which unveiled the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020 yesterday.
In a statement made available to the media yesterday by Akpandem James, the Media Adviser to the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, the ERGP focuses on achieving macroeconomic stability and economic diversification by undertaking fiscal stimulus, ensuring monetary stability and improving the external balance of trade.
The ERGP, which aims to increase oil production to 2.5 million barrels per day and for Nigeria to become a net exporter of refined petroleum products by 2020.
The goal of the ERGP is also to increase export earnings and government revenues by an additional N800 billion a year.
Under the plan, the government also expects to earn N35 billion from the sale of some national assets, including oil joint ventures, and reducing stakes in other oil and non-oil assets.
The government said it would review and possibly remove a ban on accessing foreign exchange for 41 goods and services.
Nigeria hopes to improve tax collection to raise N350 billion per annum, in part, by boosting a luxury goods tax to 15 per cent in 2018 from its current rate of 5 per cent.
The goal is to increase the overall tax to GDP ratio to 15 percent from 6 percent between 2017 and 2020.
In the agriculture sector, the Federal Government wants self-sufficiency in rice by 2018 and in wheat by 2019 or 2020, and hopes to be a net exporter of rice, cashew nuts, groundnuts, cassava and vegetable oil by 2020, according to the plan.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday, released $100 million into the interbank market, pushing the exchange rate at the parallel market down to N440 per dollar.
CBN Acting Director of Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, said that the latest dollar injection by the apex bank brings the amount so far pumped into the interbank forex market within the last two weeks to $1.14 billion.