Requirements of Nigeria’s development plans – Blueprint Newspapers Limited
The origin of development planning in Nigeria dates back to the colonial period, particularly 1946 when the Ten Year Development Plan was launched. Previously, two development plans had been launched in 1929 and 1940 for all British colonies around the world.
The main objectives of a development plan for a developing country like Nigeria include increasing per capita income; uniform distribution of income; reduction of the unemployment rate; increase in the supply of high-level labor, diversification of the economy; balanced development and indigenization of economic activities.
Since then, bridging the infrastructure gap to unleash economic growth and wealth creation; optimizing sources of economic growth to increase productivity and competitiveness; Building a productive, competitive and functional human resource base for economic growth and social progress towards the development of a knowledge-based economy has been the concern of governments on several occasions.
Nigeria is known to have a relatively long experience in development planning, starting with the Colonial Development Plan of 1958-68 in which medium-term development plans and rolling national plans were drawn up and implemented. work with mixed results.
Unfortunately, other major policy initiatives such as the Structural Adjustment Program, SAP; National Strategy for Economic Empowerment and Development, NEEDS; Strategy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, the MDGs; and the YarAdua government’s 7-point agenda was not considered to have been effectively implemented.
The “Vision 20: 2020” of General Sani Abacha’s government expressed Nigeria’s aspiration to become one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020. It was envisioned that achieving the Vision would enable the country to achieve a high standard of living. for its citizens.
It was developed by Nigerians for the Nigerian people and involved a process of deep engagement with all stakeholders at all levels of government and society.
The Vision was designed to be pursued through a series of three / four year plans that would further articulate government strategies, policies, projects and programs.
The overall goals of Vision 20: 2020 were to efficiently use human and natural resources to achieve rapid economic growth and translate economic growth into equitable social development for all citizens.
In its determination to resurrect the country’s development plan, the Buhari administration has taken the bull by the horn by redefining, reinvigorating and bringing moribund national development plans to life through a brand new home-based initiative that will surely make infrastructure country a force to be reckoned with in the world.
In the spirit of putting the country back on the path of regular and sustainable development of the country’s infrastructure as envisioned by the initiators of a feasible development plan for the country threatened by enormous debt overhang, the federal government stepped up efforts to engage the private sector to fill infrastructure gaps estimated at 350 trillion naira across the country.
Encapsulated within the framework of the National Medium-Term Development Plan over five years, MTNDP for 2021-2025, which is one of the innovative financing options, the PMB administration has put in place modalities to give infrastructure a facelift. from the country.
Currently Nigeria faces an estimated critical infrastructure deficit of over $ 3 trillion over the next 26 years, with an average annual budget of around $ 29 billion over the past 10 years. Of this figure, only about 30 percent was allocated to capital expenditure due to lack of funds.
Nigerian Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Clem I. Agba, who unveiled the financing plan at a press conference ahead of the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit in October in Abuja, explained that the proposed amount is the equivalent of the federal government’s 18-year national budget based on the 2022 budget estimate of 16.4 trillion naira.
It is expected that if the private sector enters into the plan, companies would execute investment projects in various sectors and thus help reduce the need for government borrowing to implement such projects.
Conversely, companies would get their money back from the taxes they were supposed to pay to the government over a period agreed to by both parties. Experts believe that when the arrangement works well, Nigerians would be the ultimate beneficiaries, as the construction of roads, bridges, railways, hospitals, dams and other social amenities would be faster.
It should be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Senate to consider and approve an external borrowing plan in the amount of approximately 2.5 trillion naira to finance projects included in the projections of 2018-2021 loan.
The plan foresees that the private sector will contribute 300trn N between 2021 and 2025, adding that states and federal governments will contribute 50trn N, with the FG contributing 30trn N, while states will contribute 20trn N. 2021 will be co-chaired by Stanbic-IBTC Bank Plc and Anap Business Jets Limited founder Atedo Peterside and Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed.
In his efforts to place the country’s infrastructure development where it rightly belongs, President Buhari, relying on the powers vested in him by Section 23 (2) of the Corporate Income Tax , signed Executive Decree No. 007 on “the development and renovation of road infrastructure 2019 investment tax credit scheme”.
The program focuses on mobilizing private sector funds for the construction and renovation of eligible road infrastructure projects across the country.
Renowned capital market professor Uche Uwalake described the move as “good” by the government.
Another economist, Umar Shehu Sani, said the government has done well in trying to explore the private sector window. “It’s a good move because countries around the world are looking to wealthy private companies to close development gaps.”
However, the senior economist and corporate partner of SPM Professionals, Mr. Paul Alaje, said it was doubtful that the government would increase 350 trn in five years on infrastructure, adding “The amount is not feasible” .
A roll call of companies that have so far expressed interest in the Nigerian government’s tax credit scheme shows that a tax credit certificate worth N22.3 billion has been awarded to Dangote to build the Apapa-Oworonshoki-Ojota road to Lagos and the Lokoja-Obajana -Kabba Road connecting the states of Kogi and Kwara.
MTN also obtained the 110 km Enugu-Onitsha road in Anambra state in exchange for tax credits.
In addition, Transcorp Group has expressed interest in the Oyinbo-Izuoma-Mirinwayi-Oklama-Afam route. Access Bank is to build the Oniru axis of the VI-Lekki circular road in Lagos State while GZI Industries has obtained the road to the village of Umueme, in Abia State.
Likewise, Mainstreet Energy has expressed interest in the construction of the Malando-Garin Baka-Ngwaski road, while the BUA group has opted for the Bode-Saadu-Lafiagi road as well as the Eyenkorin road and bridge.
Nigerian liquefied natural gas, NLNG affected the bridges and the Bodo-Bonny road and the Dangote group opted for the Obajana-Kabba road.
Also reacting to the government’s medium-term national development plan, MTNDP 2021-2025, Buhari Media organization, BMO said the government’s decision to engage the private sector to close the estimated 350 trillion billion infrastructure gap of naira across the country through a 5-year plan, is a welcome development that deserves to be celebrated.
BMO, in a statement signed by its chairman Niyi Akinsiju and secretary Cassidy Madueke, noted that after the fourth era of the 1981-1985 fixed medium-term development plan, this is the first time the government has reverted to a plan of development.
“Now we have a government in place which is thinking about medium and long term planning to ensure the continuity and consolidation of projects and achievements”.
The group added that the development plan was activated in the 2022 budget recently presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, which reflects the 2021-2025 medium-term plan.
All well-meaning Nigerians should join BMO in urging the private sector and investors to be encouraged to take advantage of government policies put in place to make the country an environment conducive to investment and prosperity.
Ilallah written from Abuja