The Federal Government, today, in Abuja, has inaugurated a Central Working Group (CWG) for the Development of Nigeria Agenda 2050 and the Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) 2021-2025.
The MTNDP is expected to succeed the current Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plans (ERGP) terminating in December, 2020 while Agenda 2050 is a long-term perspective plan.
Speaking at the virtual inauguration, in Abuja, Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, said that the CWG would coordinate sectoral approaches to highlight crosscutting interventions for the joint implementation of the Plans.
The adopted approaches, Agba explained, would address anticipated challenges of preparing an evidence-based national development plan and long-term vision document and make recommendations to the Minister for implementation.
He highlighted the Group’s assignment to include but not limited to: Refine the scope where necessary, provide leadership and establish the strategy and schedule for the project; Develop management plans including a monitoring and evaluation framework and the structure for national planning process.
The Group would also, convene high-level consultations where necessary, designed to elicit commitment to national objectives for development; determine the delineation of scope of work of the TWGs to avoid overlaps and duplication as well as resolve conflicts arising from overlapping mandates.
It is also expected to prioritize policies, programs, projects and interventions for Nigeria’s rapid economic development and recommend strategies to support effective implantation of identified development priorities.
The CWG would coordinate progress reporting to the Steering Committee and serve as clearing house for information sharing among the various layers within the institutional arrangement for the Plans; Ensure technical depth of work of the various TWGs are consistent with the aspirations, targets set and deliverables of the Plans; Deliver key process outputs, including strategies for effective participation of States and non-State actors in the preparation and implementation of the Plans.
It would develop detailed documentation of programs for collaborative implementation with States, LGAs and non- Government partners, including recommendations for optimal levels of Government expenditures; Consolidate the various TWGs reports into one single draft Plan document and ensure that the final Plan documents (MTNDP 2020-2025 and NA 2050) meet the standard and quality of good development Plan that could be showcased anywhere in the world.
In his words, “As we address our minds to developing an inclusive and participatory national Plans, we should not lose sight of the important role Nigeria plays in the global economy. The plans must, as a matter of conscious effort, be comprehensive and have the capacity to accelerate the attainment of various regional and global Agendas, including the AU Agenda 2063, ECOWAS integration Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030”.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Olusola Idowu, said that the Ministry had identified 26 broad and key thematic areas of the economy on which Technical Working Groups had been set up. “At this time therefore, the CWG will be inaugurated to coordinate the work of the TWGs’’ Idowu re-emphasized.
Responding on behalf of the Group, the Chairperson of the CWG, who is also the Special Adviser to Mr. President, on Finance and Economy, Dr. Sarah Alade, expressed their commitment towards delivering a well-articulated, and robust National Plan for the stability of the Nigerian Economy.
Alade pointed out that National Functionality of the Plans was important in the sense that National Development Plans must be a balance between aspirations and ability to execute. This “means that the Central Working Group must ensure seamless strategic alignment between funding/budget processes, policy-programme processes and delivery processes”.
“The Product Functionality of our National Development Plans must answer some hard questions, like: where would the resources to drive the plans come from within the funding/budget processes? among others.
She noted that, for the set-out goals to be achieved, there must be ascertained source of fund raising. “Development planning process without functionality, our Plans become mere wish list, and this is something we can neither afford nor accept, in these times of global socioeconomic instability, uncertainty and volatility, triggered by COVID-19 and aggravated by our pre-existing developmental challenges’’, she cautioned.
Ambassador Adeyemi Dipeolu, Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Office of the Vice President will be the Deputy Chairman.