By Deji Elumoye
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has stressed that Nigeria’s national development plans must promote economic diversification, be ambitious, realistic, flexible enough to absorb shocks and adapt to swiftly changing national and international conditions so as to bring about an economy that works for all, especially the poor and vulnerable.
Osinbajo stated this on Friday in a keynote address delivered virtually at the 19th meeting of the National Council on Development Planning themed “National Development Planning in Nigeria: Issues and Challenges”.
According to him, such plan is necessary in order to bring about a society and economy that works for all, especially the poor and vulnerable, adding that such plan, among other things, must promote economic diversification, be modern, ambitious, realistic and flexible.
Osinbajo said; ”it is generally agreed that the primary purpose of planning in our economy is to accelerate growth and development outcomes that will improve the lives of Nigerians. To be meaningful, our planning processes must lead to tangible outcomes in the form of growth that exceeds population growth. Indeed, our plans must bring about an economy and society that works for all Nigerians.”
Referencing the Buhari administration’s Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) as an example of deliberate efforts aimed at ensuring inclusive growth, he said that an aspect of national planning that is often overlooked is how to manage distributional outcomes in a rapidly changing economic environment.
He said that on top of mind for Mr President is how to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in this decade as they radically re-engineer the productive base of the economy in agriculture, manufacturing, mining and the digital and creative sectors.
”This point is readily understood if we recall that the strength of feelings on issues like the national minimum wage or indeed the deregulation of PMS prices is related to their expected impact on the poor segments of society.
”It is accordingly important when drawing up national plans to take account of the interests of the more vulnerable members of society. This is why social investment and social protection are at the heart of the Buhari Administration’s policy interventions,” Osinbajo added.