Failure of the Ministries,Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to execute fully government programmes and projects owing to corruption and abuse of office within the system despite the establishment of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission and Due Process has been identified as the strongest impediment to government’s long- term Strategic Development Agenda as envisioned in the Vision 20:2020.
In a paper on Food for Thought on the Federal Government’s First National Implementation Plan for Vision 20:2020, addressed to the Minister of the National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, an economist and past chairman of the National Association of Accountants of Nigeria (NAAN), Mr. Ahmad Abbas Satatima, said that the leadership of a nation that totters on the brink of near economic collapse, accentuated by the current global financial meltdown on account of decayed or non-existent infrastructure, should be outraged by the incidence of unspent funds from poorly executed budgets by the MDAs,adding that the lack of capacity to spend appropriated funds in the budget was one of the Twin Towers obstructing the attainment of set goals in the Vision 20:2020.
To achieve the long-term Strategic Development Agenda, he said the MDAs oversight function must be separated from the Agenda and a Central Working Committee constituted instead.
The CWG Committee he proffered should be backed by law or the existing National Planning Commission Act and the committee members selected out of the sub-committees that produced the Vision 20:2020.
Recalling that former president Olusegun Obasanjo, during his 2007 presentaion speech captured six major development projects to be jointly funded from the Excess Crude Account namely; Lagos –Minna –Kano with Minna-Abuja-Kaduna Spur, Standard Guage Double Track Railway line to cost $8.3 billion in four years; Niger Delta Integrated Power Plants estimated to cost $3.8 billion; including transmission and provision of gas; Mambila Hydro Power Project estimated to cost$3.2 billion; over a period of four years and combined Cycle for Geregu, Alaoji,Papalanto and Omotosho Power Plants estimated to cost $1.7 billion to increase the generation from these facilities by 2,300MW over a period of three years; Equity investment OK LNG plant estimated to cost $9.8 billion; Equity investment in OK Pipeline project estimated to cost $2.0 billion; and Equity investment in Brass LNG plant also estimated to cost $8.5 billion, he called on the CWG Group Committee to investigate the position of these projects and vigorously pursue their completion.
In the area of agriculture, he suggested the rehabilitation and construction of earth dams in 36 States and Abuja to provide for irrigation.
He further advised that agricultural inputs such as fertiliser, pesticides, and improved seedlings should be made available regularly and at subsidised rates to meet the needs of the farmers, while also emphasising that the construction of feeder roads and the rehabilitation of existing ones to facilitate the movement of agricultural produce should not be overlooked.
Satatima, also advocated the establishment of a State Economic Planning Commission (SEPC) for proper coordination, monitoring and implementation of all joint projects under Vision 20:2020 and other oversight functions performed by the MDAs for proper utilisation of public funds.