The Federal Government has reached out to Nigerians in the Diaspora with its current effort at producing Medium-Term National Development Plans (MTNDPs 2021-2025 and 2026-2030) and the perspective plan, christened Nigeria Agenda 2050.
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, who supervises the process, engaged Diasporic Nigerians in a webinar on Monday during which he solicited for their thoughts and input in the process of developing what he referred to as a Nigerian plan and not Federal Government plan.
Agba assured the Diasporic Nigerians that necessary structures had been emplaced to drive the process of producing a “truly national develolment plan”.
The minister stated that the administration had identified nine priorities for implementation during the period 2019-2023, which, according to him, “have been captured as priorities in the Medium-Term Plan.”
He listed the policy priorities to include, among others, building systems to fight corruption, improving governance and creating national cohesion; enhancing social inclusion and reducing poverty; attaining energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products; enlarging agriculture output for food security; building a thriving and sustainable economy; and, improving access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity.
He said that the process of developing the plans would be private sector-driven with government acting as an enabler.
He said the National Steering Committee, at the topmost level of the governance structure, was being co-chaired by an economist, entrepreneur and investment banker, Mr Atedo Peterside from the private sector with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed as co-chair (public sector/government side).
The governance structures for the plans comprised the Technical Working Groups, Central Secretariat, Central Working Group and the 42- member National Steering Committee.
He said the institutional arrangement for the plan comprised Secretariat, Stakeholders Consultations, Technical Working Groups, Resource persons, Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC), Central Working Group and Steering Committee.
According to him, 26 Technical Working Groups were already working on the thematic areas that were grouped into six clusters with first being the National Development Plans Writing, Communications, Implementation, Monitoring and Continuity Cluster.
The others are Governance Security and International Relations cluster; Macroeconomic Reconstruction and Stability cluster; High-Growth Sector cluster; and, Social Sector Transformation cluster.
He briefed Diasporic Nigerians that in addition to the inauguration and working of the 26 TWGs, “the Central Working Group has been inaugurated and working; the Steering Committee has been inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari; and, diagnostic reports have been formulated across thematic areas.”
He stated further that “Medium-Term National Development Plans across thematic areas are now being formulated and Strategic statements of the future and visioning statements for 2050 are being prepared.”
In engaging stakeholders, the minister stated that “the development plan is a national plan with the sub-nationals (local and state governments) adequately represented and angaged; and, public and private sector participation across leadership and membership of all critical committees and groups.”
He announced that a web link had been created on the Ministry’s website to enable the public send in memoranda in any of the thematic areas as individuals or groups.
According to him “the Ministry’s website is www.nationalplanning.gov.ng while the web link is on ‘National Plans’ landing page.”
He said the National Development Plan official e-mail created for the purpose of receiving input and memoranda was: email@example.com
He appealed to them to make use of the various channels that had been created to make input into “this very important national assignment.”
The MTNDP document is expected to be ready and submitted to government before the end of the year while Agenda 2050 document is expected to be submitted next year.