By James Emejo
The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, has inaugurated the ‘agriculture and water resources and cross cutting issues’ Technical Working Groups (TWGs) for the development of the Medium Term National Development Plan (MTNDP 2021-2025 and 2026-2030) as well as the Nigeria Agenda 2050.
He said the initiatives were designed to succeed the current Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020).
The minister said the proposed plans were meant to address developmental challenges in all aspects of the country’s national life within the agreed timeframe.
Speaking during ceremony which was held via web conference, he said the inauguration of the group became imperative given the fact that the existing development plans are expected to lapse in December 2020 while the 2021 budget is to be guided by the plan.
Noting that there was limited time to deliver on the task at hand, Agba said the team had been selected based on their wealth of experience, expertise and dedication to national assignment over the years to assist in putting together implementable successor plans.
The minister further recommended the application of the concept of futurology for a long term perspective plan.
He said it is, “not only about postulating possible probable and preferable futures only but about creating the future we desire.”
According to him, the concept demands “shaping and moulding the future into an image we would prefer which should not be limited by the prism of the present or by whatever may be in fashion at any moment.”
Nonetheless, the team’s terms of reference include the review of existing plans, policies, programmes and projects in the thematic areas, review assumptions, parameters and forecasts used in the previous sectorial plans and align with current realities as well as conduct SWOT analysis of the thematic sectors, review existing research reports and share findings as well as consider the advantages and disadvantages of the approaches for policy topics being explored among others.
Giving the timelines for the assignment, the minister further directed the team to produce and submit the final reports on the various thematic areas for the first MTNDP 2021-2025 to the Central Working Group not later than September 30, 2020 and MTNDP 2026-2030 by February 2021.
Also, it is expected to submit the final report for the Nigeria Agenda 2050 by July 2021.
In carrying out their tasks however, Agba urged the team not to lose sight of the important role the country plays in the global economy adding that the plan must be comprehensive and have the capacity to accelerate the attainment of various regional and global agendas particularly the AU Agenda 2063, ECOWAS Integration Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals 2030.
He said the federal government had already agreed to use the Econometric and Input-Output models for the preparation of the macroeconomic framework for the two medium term national development plan while the dynamic Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) and system dynamic-based Integrated Sustainable Development Goals Simulation (iSDG) for Nigeria Agenda 2050.
He added that this would be truly a national development plan led by the organised private sector and enabled by the government.
He also said that the macroeconomic and growth diagnostics thematic group had been inaugurated and are already working on the macro framework.
However, the various TWGs inaugurated include agriculture, food security and rural development; water resources and sanitation; culture, tourism, creative industry and hospitality; defense, peace and security and environment, social, regional development and disaster management among others.