By Musa Ilallah
It is quite appropriate to talk about Nigeria’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan, ERGP as a prelude to the Muhammadu Buhari goverment’s newest strategy of a tripartite ownership of a National Development Plan, NDP estimated at trillions of Naira.
Since time immemorial, and particularly since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999, various governments have made efforts in improving the country’s economic and development plans through a number of ways. However, none has been as unique, all-encompassing and all-inclusive as this latest attempt by PMB.
President Buhari’s administration in 2017 launched the Nigerian Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP with the objectives of restoring growth, building a globally competitive economy and accelerating inclusive growth by investing in the Nigerian people.
President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration introduced the ERGP between 2017-2020 as a medium term plan designed to “tackling corruption, improving security, rebuilding the economy, restoring economic growth and eliminating the bottlenecks that impede innovation and market-based economy.
The government’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan outlines a pathway for a sustainable jobs-led recovery. It focuses on four key pillars: sustainable public finances, supporting a return to work, re-building sustainable enterprises, and supporting a balanced and inclusive recovery.
This therefore means that economic recovery is the business cycle stage following a recession that is characterized by a sustained period of improving business activity. Normally, during an economic recovery, gross domestic product (GDP) grows, incomes rise, and unemployment falls as the economy rebounds.
The strategic move by government to improve the fortunes of the country’s economy and development, infrastructure, public administration, human capital development, social and regional development, is no doubt another attempt to put the economy in further perspectives.
One can recall that Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council, FEC had approved the National Development Plan, NDP for 2021-2025 to succeed the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP for 2017-2020 that expired in December 2020.
Expected to last for five years, the plan had been costed to have an investment size of N348.7 trillion over the period that will comprise N49.7 trillion from the public sector, (contribution by the Federal and States governments) representing 14.3 per cent and N 298.3 trillion representing 85.7 per cent by the private sector.
The plan is underpinned by a macro-economic framework, which projects an average real GDP growth of five per cent per annum over the plan period.
The plan will be chaired by Minister of Finance and Economy, Mrs Zainab Ahmad and co-chaired by Atedo Peterside from the private sector while the National Steering Committee has 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.
Available details show that the funding strategies for the plan have also been identified and these include broadening the tax base, enhancing the capacity of the private sector through creating investment opportunities and deliberate policy engagements and incentives.
Others are exploring domestic and concessioning financing sources and setting up financial investment vehicles such as growth funds and public private partnership as well as the Nigerian Investment and Growth Fund.
However, government sources have confirmed that the implementation of the plan requires the establishment of a strong implementation mechanism and framework that promotes performance and accountability, which is necessary for the implementation of the plan.
Towards this end, a Development Plan Implementation Unit that will report to the National Steering Committee, to be headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning as vice chair, has been established.
The coordination of the implementation of the plan would be carried through to ensure that MDAs, States governments, private sector operators, civil society organisations, among others, are all working in a coordinated fashion to achieve results.
Government has also put measures in place to continue work on the longer term plan, which is the “Nigeria Agenda 2050” as soon as the NDP was formally launched. “Nigeria Agenda 2050” is Nigeria ‘s 25 years long term development plan that is expected to take off when the 5 years National Development Plan expires in 2025.
It is expected that the national annual budget will be derived from the plan, thereby making it mandatory for all MDAs to draw their programmes and projects from the detailed plans that they themselves have submitted during this process.
One expresses the hope that these laudable plans very well packaged and intended by the Federal Government will make the country and lives of Nigerians better at the end of the day. It is not in doubt that Nigeria has all it takes to be great.