The Federal Government has inaugurated Technical Working Groups (TWGs) for the development of the thematic areas of the two new Medium-Term National Development Plans (MTNDP 2020 – 2025 and MTNDP 2026-2030) and the long-term national development plan, christened “Nigeria Agenda 2050”.
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, who performed the virtual inauguration on Thursday, said the initiatives were designed to produce successor plans to the current Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020), which would both come to an end in December, this year.
According to Agba, “The Plans are to address development challenges in all aspects of the country’s national life within the agreed time frame.”
He said that the new long-term perspective plan (Agenda 2050) would be a “true National Development Plan’’ different from previous plans, since the Federal Government would only act as an enabler while the development of the plan would be driven by the organized private sector.
Agba disclosed that the planning process would be inclusive and participatory with full involvement of the sub-nationals (State and Local Governments) with major political parties, the National Assembly, representatives of women organisations and youths, the physically-challenged persons, religious groups and other relevant stakeholders.
“The aim of this all-inclusive approach is to have a true national, and comprehensive National Development Plan, where we use our diversity as our strength in the development of our economy,” the Minister stated.
He disclosed that the governance structure of the new Plan was in three layers, with TWGs as the base where all technical works would be carried out before escalation to the Central Working Group (CWG) which has the oversight functions on the TWGs.
According to him, the CWG is headed by Special Adviser to the President on Finance and Economy, Mrs Sarah Alade, while the Steering Committee is chaired by Sir Atedo Peterside and co-chaired by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed with members drawn from various sectors of the economy, including six governors representing the geo-political zones.
The Minister said he looked forward to receiving from the groups robust and implementable plans, stressing that the groups must work towards submitting their reports within the stipulated deadlines.
He stated that the TWGs should produce and submit final reports of their thematic areas for the first MTNDP 2021 – 2025 report to the Central Working Group, not later than September 31, 2020 and the second MTNDP 2026 – 2030 on February 21, 2021; while final report for the Nigeria Agenda 2050 should be submitted in July 2021.
The minister commended the patriotism of members of the various TWGs in making themselves available for the exercise despite the daunting challenges associated with the prevailing social distancing, occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.
He charged the Groups not to lose sight of the important role Nigeria was playing in the global economy and urged them to ensure that the plan was comprehensive and had the capacity to accelerate the attainment of various regional and global Agendas, including the AU Agenda 2063, ECOWAS integration Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
He stated that the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning had agreed on the economic models to be used.
According to him, the economic and Input – output models would be used for the preparation of the macroeconomic framework for the MTNDP 2021- 2025 and MTNDP 2026-2030 while Dynamic Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) and System Dynamic-based integrated Sustainable Development Goals Simulation (iSDG) Models would be used for Nigeria Agenda 2050.
The various TWGs in charge of different thematic areas were categorized under three (3) groups for ease of coordination and inauguration: Human Capital and Natural Resources, for Group One; Infrastructure and Business Environment, Trade and Technology, for Group Two; and, Agriculture and Water Resources and Cross Cutting Issues, for Group Three, respectively.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Olusola Idowu, reiterated that the inauguration of a successor Development Plan became imperative given the fact that the extant plans (Vision 20:2020 and ERGP 2017-2020) would terminate in December 2020.
Idowu said that government identified 26 broad and key thematic areas of the economy on which TWGs had been set to up.
She maintained that government had confidence in the experience and expertise of members of the committee in implementing a robust and implementable plan.
Responding on behalf of the TWGs, the Coordinator of Population and Identity Management TWG, Mr. Niyi Ajao, the Coordinator of Infrastructure, Engineer Adekunle Mokuolu and Coordinator of Cross -cutting issues (employment, gender and people with special needs), Dr. Amina Salihu, appreciated the Federal Government for finding them fit for the task.
They pledged their full commitment in delivering excellent and implementable report for the benefit of moving the Nigerian Economy forward.
To facilitate their works, the Groups are to: review existing plans, policies, programmes and projects in their thematic areas; conduct SWOT analysis of their thematic areas/sectors; review the assumptions, parameters and forecasts used in the previous sectoral plans and align them with current realities; and consult relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies in their thematic areas for the relevant data.