Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman
The Minister of National Planning, Dr. Shamsuddeen Usman, has said that the country can still achieve its Vision 20:2020 targets if all the necessary steps captured in the comprehensive vision document are implemented.
The minister also denied media reports that quoted him to have said that the Vision 20:2020 target would not be realised.
The Technical Adviser (Communications) to the minister, Mr. Ikechukwu Eze, said this in a statement made available to THISDAY Tuesday.
Eze insisted that the media reports completely misrepresented the statement made by Usman, while briefing the leadership of the Peoples’ Democratic Party on the 2012 achievements of his ministry.
He quoted the minister to have said: “In 2012, the National Planning Commission (NPC) continued to drive institutional transformation for effective achievement of NV20:2020, the First National Implementation Plan (1st NIP) and the Transformation Agenda, through evidence-based planning and policy advice, policy-oriented research agenda, improved research and statistical management as well as review of techniques for computation of CPI, GDP, poverty and unemployment.”
He further explained that Usman had never held back from explaining that the Vision 20:2020 was not a done deal but a roadmap, which clearly pointed to what needed to be done through hardwork.
Eze explained: “We wish to place on record that the commission and the minister have continued to repose hope in the vision, as a realistic long-term growth and development roadmap for the country, in line with this administration’s demonstrated determination, disposition and capacity to do things differently, to bring about change and the needed economic growth and strategic development.
“This determination is evident in the comprehensive reforms going on in different sectors towards infrastructural renewal, promoting sustainable development and the growth of the nation’s economy. Power and agriculture are for instance, two areas that are undergoing a total revolution.
“While power is being radically privatised to ensure steady power supply and open the floodgates for massive opportunities in investment and entrepreneurship; agriculture is being transformed along the value chain, to achieve food security, boost exports and create mass employment.”
Continuing, he said: “As the coordinating arm and the pivot of the government’s economic planning, the NPC has continued to play a major role towards the effective implementation of the Transformation Agenda and the Vision 20:2020.
“We are not ashamed to admit that there are gaps requiring improvement, especially in massive infrastructure upgrade, but we will not shy away from highlighting the fact that the prevailing macroeconomic fundamentals look strong.”