Buhari inaugurates committee for Agenda 2050, Development Plan | Dailytrust

Buhari inaugurates committee for Agenda 2050, Development Plan

President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday inaugurated the National Steering Committee to oversee the development of the Nigeria Agenda 2050 and Medium-Term National Development Plan to succeed the Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017 – 2020.

The membership of the newly inaugurated committee to be co-chaired by Atedo Peterside and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, comprises 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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Other members are major political parties, the Association of Local Government of Nigeria, captains of industries, labour organizations, youth organizations and women’s societies,  farmers’ associations, traditional and religious leaders, people with special needs and members of the press.

The committee is to develop Successor Plans to Vision 20:2020 and ERGP.

Buhari said it had become necessary to develop successor plans to the Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and the ERGP, which both lapse in December this year, in order to ensure continuity and efficiency in the country’s development planning.

He said: “The main objectives of these successor plans are to lift 100m 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 400m people.”

Buhari said the committee would oversee governance structure comprising the Central Working Group and 26 Technical Working Groups for the important national assignment.

“It’s 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 institutionalize planned outcomes for the future.

“I trust that our partners in the National Assembly will support us in exploring these reforms,” he said.

He urged the 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.

The president, who stressed the importance of national development planning, said if carefully conceived and diligently implemented, it could 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 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,” he said.

Buhari 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.

The president, who wished the committee success in its assignment, said that he looked forward to receiving regular reports of deliberations.

Buhari said the composition of the committee was to ensure a truly consultative, participatory and inclusive planning process.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning noted that lately, various zones of the country had 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 Nigeria.

“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 we’re coming up with,” she said.