From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has launched the 2021 – 2025 National Development Plan, which will focus investment on massive infrastructure, ensure economic stability, enhance the investment environment, improve on social indicators and living conditions of Nigerians, among others.
In attendance to witness the launch, before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council, was Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha and Kebbi State Governor Atiku Bagudu, who represented the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF).
He presented the document to the public at the council chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, in her opening remark, revealed that the new document replaces the Economic Recovery and Growth Programme.
‘The NDP 2021-2025 is designed as our Medium-Term Development Plan to succeed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020) which ended in December 2020,’ she said.
‘The ERGP 2017–2020 assisted the country to exit economic recession in 2017 and sustained modest growth until the recent global economic challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘The current challenges are products of many years of inappropriate policies, fiscal leakages and global economic phenomena. This Administration is taking necessary actions that will fundamentally change the structure of the economy and how government businesses are conducted for efficiency and effectiveness.’
Ahmed said the plan would help Nigeria achieve robust development in the Science and Technology Sectors.
‘The President graciously granted approval to my Ministry in 2019 to develop a new national development plan to succeed both ERGP 2017-2020. It is very important to note that the Plan is a pointer to the type of Nigeria we all desire and encourages the use of science, technology and innovation to drive growth,’ she added.
The finance minister further disclosed that the NDP 2021-2025 will help Nigeria achieve its agendas at the continental and global levels.
‘I want to place on record that this Plan is sufficiently comprehensive with the capacity to accelerate the attainment of various regional and global Agendas, including the AU Agenda 2063, ECOWAS integration Agenda 2050 and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
‘In order to have the future we all desire, the Plan is developed to play a sizable role in the product complexity space internationally and adopts measures to easing constraints that have hindered the economy from attaining its potentials, particularly, on the product mapping space.
‘The Plan provides for the implementation of major infrastructure and other development projects across the six Geo-political Zones and the opening up of opportunities for the rural areas to ensure balanced development and increased competitiveness,’ she said.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has lauded the Buhari administration for the initiative that has created the series of economic development plans so far under its watch, noting that no administration, in Nigeria’s history, has been as inclusive.
The Chairman of the NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who was represented by the Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Atiku Bagudu, noted that the new NDP 2021-2025 was a product of collaboration and consultation between the federal and state governments.
‘Well, let me just clarify that I’m here to represent the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Governor of Ekiti State, who was unavoidably absent and we congratulate Mr. President for launching the 2021-2025 Development Plan as ably introduced by the Minister of National Planning.
‘We had an economic recovery growth plan that expired in 2020, which has achieved the objective of, among others, helping Nigeria exit twice from the recession and now we have a plan in place for 2021-2025 that is further aimed principally at ensuring that the gains have been consolidated and Nigerians are being continuously included.
‘This government, more than any other, has taken deliberate, active steps to include all economic groups and support them more than has ever been done in order that they achieve their economic objectives, in order that the country’s economy continues to provide for all and we will witness more prosperity. We congratulate and I’m sure all of us in the 36 states and FCT are very happy.
‘We have been consulted some of us who are members of the various committees. It’s a consultative programme and we appreciate both the President and the Vice President because under them, particularly the National Economic Council, which is the major economic decision-making body of the Federation, has been quite inclusive, it’s not a monologue, states are being given the pride of place,’ the governor said.
While presenting the document, the president was assisted by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State as well as Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed.
Others present at the event included Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, Power Abubakar Aliyu, Justice, Abubakar Malami, Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, as well as Ministers of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, and Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba.