Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is to lead the federal government’s National Economic Development Plan (NDP) of N348.7 trillion.
The ambitious project, which some experts tagged as a “serious stimulus package if well-coordinated and executed” would be driven by the public and private sectors.
Atedo Peterside, an entrepreneur, investment banker and founder of Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, is to serve as co-chair.
The amount earmarked for the five-year plan almost doubled Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which was estimated at $429.42 billion (N176.315tr) as of 2020.
GDP is the total monetary or market value of all the finished goods and services produced within a country’s borders in a specific period.
The approval was announced Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, told reporters that the new initiative replaced the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) set to elapse in December this year.
The minister said the public sector would contribute N49.7 trillion (14.3%) to the investment size, and the private sector N298.3 trillion (85.7%).
She said the plan was structured on economic growth and development, infrastructure, public administration, human capital development, social development and regional development.
According to her, the funding strategy includes broadening the tax base and expanding the capacity of the private sector through creating investment opportunities and delivering quality engagements and incentives.
She added that the plan was underpinned by a macroeconomic framework that projects average GDP growth of 5% over the plan period.
How Osinbajo, others will drive initiative
The finance minister said there will be a Development Plan Implementation Unit that would report to the National Steering Committee, which will be headed by the vice president with the minister of finance, budget and national planning as vice-chair.
The minister said the Development Plan Implementation Unit would be in the planning arm of the ministry.
Zainab said the coordination of the implementation of the plan would be carried through to ensure that MDAs, state governments, private sector operators, civil society organisations, among others, were all working in a coordinated fashion.
Speaking further, the minister of state for Budget, Clem Agba, said the governance structure of the plan would have Mr Atedo Peterside as co-chair from the private sector.
He said the National Steering Committee had 42 members comprising key ministers, representatives of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, other organs of the private sector and six governors representing the geo-political zones.
‘Good news but…’
A financial expert, Umar Mohammed, said it was cheering news from the federal government.
“Development planning is necessary for any serious government and it is not late that we have this one. I am impressed with some of the names I heard.
“All over the world, it is public-private partnership that drives the economy. I am sure that if properly managed, the resources would reduce poverty through job creation. I also hope that the federal government will expand its tax net by tracking taxable incomes and channelling them to viable ventures.
“Similarly, investors from the private sector should be assured that their investment is secured. We should also improve security to attract direct foreign investment,” he said.
An economic commentator and lecturer at the University of Nigeria (UNN), Mr David Aku, said while development plans are great, it is the follow-through that made the difference.
“We have had so many development plans in the past in Nigeria. Can we say any of them has been followed through? I guess not. None has been followed through from the beginning to the end. So I am not excited about this economic development plan by the Buhari administration,” he said.
He said it was more worrisome when you realise that Buhari’s government had less than two years to end, adding that not much of the implementation will happen in the lifetime of this government.
The “2021 to 2025 development plan for the medium term and this government’s life ends in 2023. I don’t know how much of the implementation would happen. I am not excited really,” he said.