President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated National Steering Committee to oversee development of Nigeria Agenda 2050 and Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) to succeed Vision 20:2020 and Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020.
Buhari said that the main objectives of these successor plans were to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years, particularly given World Bank’s projection that Nigeria would become world’s third most populous country by 2050 with over 400 million people.
According to him, the committee would oversee governance structure comprising the Central Working Group and 26 Technical Working Groups for the important national assignment.
The president added that the committee would oversee execution of key deliverables, including recommending measures to ensure continuous implementation of the plans even after the expiration of the tenure of successive Administrations including legislation, if required.
Speaking after the inauguration on Wednesday in Abuja, Buhari noted the need for new development plan became necessary to avoid vacuum since Vision 20:2020 and the ERGP, which both lapse in December this year.
Buhari urged the National Steering Committee, which would be jointly chaired by Atedo Peterside and Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, Dr (Mrs) Zainab Ahmed, 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 a 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 the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
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 competitive economy.
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.
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.
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