President Muhammadu Buhari has inaugurated the National Steering Committee to oversee the development of the Nigeria Agenda 2050 and Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP).
The National Steering Committee for the development of Successor Plans to Vision 20:2020 and ERGP will be jointly chaired by Mr Atedo Peterside and Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.
Speaking at the event held in Abuja on Wednesday, September 9; Buhari said the Agenda 2050 and MTNDP were to succeed Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 – 2020.
The president expressed the hope that the successor plans would lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years.
He said: ”The main objectives of these Successor Plans are to lift 100 million 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 400 million people.”
He noted that 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.
On the mandate of the National Steering Committee, Buhari said it would oversee governance structure; comprising the Central Working Group and 26 Technical Working Groups for the important national assignment.
”It is 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 to institutionalise planned outcomes for the future.
“I trust that our partners in the National Assembly will support us in exploring these reforms,” he said.
The president urged the National Steering Committee not to lose sight of the important role Nigeria plays on the continent; as well as in the global community.
Buhari 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.
While underscoring the importance of national development planning; the president 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 the 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.