President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday, in Abuja inaugurated the National Steering Committee (NSC) to oversee the development of the Nigeria Agenda 2050 and Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) to succeed Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 – 2020.
The NSC for the development of Successor Plans to Vision 20:2020 and ERGP will be jointly chaired by Mr Atedo Peterside and Dr (Mrs) Zainab Ahmed, the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
Speaking at the inauguration, President Buhari in a statement by his special adviser media, Femi Adesina said: ‘’The main objectives of these Successor Plans are to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years, particularly given the World bank’s projection that Nigeria will become the world’s third most populous country by 2050 with over 400 million people.’’
The President noted that it had become necessary to develop Successor Plans to the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and the ERGP, which both lapsed in December this year, in order to ensure continuity and efficiency in the country’s development planning.
On the mandate of the NSC, President Buhari said it would oversee governance structure comprising the Central Working Group and 26 Technical Working Groups for the important national assignment.
‘’It is my expectation that the Steering Committee will oversee the execution of key deliverables, including recommending measures to ensure the continuous implementation of the Plans even after the expiration of the tenure of successive administrations – including legislation, if required.
‘’Such legislation may introduce much-needed rigour and discipline to
the nation’s development planning as well as institutionalise planned
outcomes for the future. I trust that our partners in the National
Assembly will support us in exploring these reforms, ‘’ he said.
President Buhari urged the National Steering Committee not to lose
sight of the important role Nigeria plays on the continent as well as
in the global community.
He said the Successor Plans must, therefore, be designed to sustain
national development, as well as support regional and global strategic
interests, as outlined in the African Union Agenda 2063, the ECOWAS
Integration Agenda 2050 and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
Underscoring the importance of national development planning, the
President said if carefully conceived and diligently implemented, it
can transform the economic fortunes of the nation.
‘’The Chinese experience is an example. It has resulted in lifting
over 700 million people out of poverty over the last four decades.
‘’Indeed, China’s track record of positive economic growth, since
1992, was only halted in the first quarter of 2020, due to onset of
the COVID-19 Pandemic.
‘’COVID-19 presents the world – and Nigeria – with a crisis as well as
an opportunity. The current global health and economic crises give us
an opportunity to think afresh and chart an optimal path forward, ‘’
The President recalled that in February 2017 when he launched the
Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, its objectives included, restoring
and sustaining growth, investing in people and building a globally
On the other hand, he said Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 was an
articulation of the long-term intent to launch Nigeria onto a path of
sustained socio-economic development.
‘’The ERGP shared this vision, which ensured that the country exited
recession in 2017 and sustained growth in Gross Domestic Product until
the recent global economic challenges occasioned by COVID-19.
‘’Over the decades, successive planning and visioning exercises have
guided investment in human capital development, the implementation of
our infrastructural roadmap, and supported social investment in our
people’s lives and livelihoods, ‘’ he said.
The President wished the committee success in its assignment, adding
that he looked forward to receiving regular reports of deliberations.
On the composition of the committee, the President said in order to
ensure a truly consultative, participatory and inclusive planning
process, the membership will comprise representatives of one state
governor from each of the six geopolitical zones, the Senate and House
of Representatives, ministers and representatives of key agencies.
Other members of the National Steering Committee are major political
parties, ALGON, captains of industries, labour organisations, youth
organisations and women’s societies, farmers’ associations,
traditional and religious leaders, people with special needs and
members of the press.
‘’At the heart of the Successor Plans is the partnership between the
public and private sectors, with government as the enabler of private
sector investment and industry,’’ the President said.
In her remarks, the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning,
Dr Ahmed noted that lately, various zones of the country have been
pursuing different economic cooperation within their areas.
She, therefore, urged that the new Plans consider the comparative
advantages available in these regional blocs to build a virile
‘’Although the two National Plans are on their way out, the question
that will remain on the lips of Nigerians and which we must be ready
to provide an answer with little or no prompting as we progress with
the preparation of the successor Plans, is how much the Plans have
transformed Nigerian economy.
‘’As the National Steering Committee for the preparation of the new
Plans, we must therefore strive to give hope to the great citizens of
this country with the quality of Plans that we are coming up with, ‘’
Also speaking, the co-chair Mr Peterside pledged to work as a team,
commending the President for making the Committee very inclusive.
‘’For a development plan to be successful, it has to be inclusive,
people should be consulted, own it and believe it is working for
them,’’ he said.