By Nduka Chiejina (Assistant Editor)
The absence of state governments’ input into past national economic plans have been identified as a major reason for the failure of previous national economic plans.
Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, made this revelation in Abuja at the 19th National Council on Development Planning (NCDP) meeting.
The finance minister said that the notion that past national economic plans had failed “was based on the assertion that the plans were more of federal government rather than national.”
According to her, “this notion had denied previous plans of the needed cooperation from state governments, which led to little success recorded so far.”
She said, “You would agree with me that previous plans witnessed varying degree of successes. For instance, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020, which was crafted in the wake of the global economic meltdown of 2016 was able to pull Nigeria’s economy out of recession.”
The meeting is an annual event organised along with the Joint Planning Board (JPB) meeting by the budget and planning arm of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning in conjunction with state governments for policy formulation and implementation of contemporary economic issues.
The meeting proposes policy options geared towards enhancing the economic management process of the nation.
Ahmed stated that, “the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020 and its myriad consequences have impacted so much on the economy and norms that it would take decades for the world to recover.
“The economy plunged into another wave of recession in 2020, which was, however, short-lived by proactive measures put in place by the current administration. This experience calls for an urgent strategy to develop a more resilient and sustainable economy model that could stand the test of time.”
Achieving this, she said, “would require maximum cooperation at all levels of government.”
The ongoing Medium Term National Development Plans (MTNDP) 2021-2025 and Nigeria Agenda 2050, she said, were designed to address these concerns.
In his opening address, Prince Clem Agba, the Minister of State, Ministry Of Budget And National Planning, called on the States’ Commissioners of Budget and Economic Planning, Permanent Secretaries, and others to continue to support and replicate the economic policies of the federal government, especially the ongoing MTNDP 2021-2025 and Nigeria Agenda 2050 in their respective states.
“This is in order to consolidate and sustain the success achieved so far. Nigeria has come to a point of ‘no going back’ in her economic transformation policy. Hence, there is need to chart a positive way forward in boosting its economy to address the issues of unemployment, insecurity, youth restiveness etc.,” he said.