The federal government has traced the failure of previous national economic plans partly to inadequate cooperation and buy-in by sub-national governments.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, who stated this, noted that the overall scorecard of previous national economic plans indicated that they performanced below expectation.
In an address at the 19th National Council on Development Planning (NCDP) meeting in Abuja, the minister said that lack of cooperation and buy-in by the states was based on the notion that the plans were more of the federal government’s than sub-national.
According to her, this notion had denied previous plans of the needed cooperation from state governments, which led to little success recorded so far.
On the performance of previous plans, she said: “You would agree with me that previous Plans witnessed varying degree of successes. For instance, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020, which was crafted at the wake of the global economic meltdown of 2016, was able to pull the Nigerian economy out of recession.
Commenting on the meeting’s themed, “National Development Planning in Nigeria: Issues and Challenges”, Ahmed said it was quite germane as it stimulates robust discussions on a new adoptable approach towards the formulation of effective national plans that will serve as successor to the NV20:2020 and the ERGP 2017-2020 which ended in December, 2020.
At the two-day hybrid meeting, participants deliberated on ways of charting a new economic pathway that will sustain national development.
She said the meeting was an annual event organised along with the Joint Planning Board (JPB) meeting by the Budget and Planning arm of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in conjunction with state governments for policy formulation and implementation of contemporary economic issues with a view to proposing policy options geared towards enhancing the economic management process of the nation
The minister noted that the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 and its myriad consequences have impacted so much on the economy and norms that it would take decades for the world to recover.
Ahmed said the economy plunged into another wave of recession in 2020 which was, however, short-lived because of proactive measures put in place by the current administration, adding that this experience called for an urgent strategy to develop a more resilient and sustainable economy-model that could stand the test of time.
The minister said: “Achieving this would require maximum cooperation and collaboration at all levels of government. The ongoing Medium Term National Development Plans (MTNDP) 2021-2025 and Nigeria Agenda 2050 were designed to address these concerns.
“The meeting is aimed at ratifying key resolutions reached in the last two days and to formulate critical actionable strategies towards repositioning the Nigeria economy into a prosperous and all-inclusive one. I, therefore, implore your cooperation as true citizens in the development of our great country, towards the realisation of the objectives of this meeting.”
In his opening address at the meeting, the Minister of State, Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba implored commissioners of budget and economic planning, states’ permanent secretaries and others to continue to support and replicate the economic policies of the federal government, especially the ongoing MTNDP 2021-2025 and Nigeria Agenda 2050, in their respective States.
He said: “This is in order to consolidate and sustain the success achieved so far. Nigeria has come to a point of ‘no going back’ in her economic transformation policy. Hence, there is need to chart a positive way forward in boosting its economy to address the issues of unemployment, insecurity, youth restiveness etc.”
Meanwhile, the federal government has stated that it is prioritising sustainable and inclusive development aseriously well as ensuring specific interventions aimed at entrenching peace and security across the country.
In her remarks at the recently held project board meeting for Regional Stabilisation Facility-Nigeria (RSF), the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed said: “We remain firmly committed to the stabilisation work in the North East, and to working closely with all stakeholders to restore peace and prosperity to the affected states.
On government-led multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approach to stabilising the Lake Chad region, she stated that the government’s experience with the RSF demonstrates the importance of employing a government-led multi-stakeholder and multi-sectoral approach to stabilising the Lake Chad region.
A statement issued by her Special Adviser, Media and Communications, Yunusa Tanko Abdullahi, she added that this was underscored by the substantive progress made in implementing the RSF Joint Action Plan (JAP) in 2020, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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