The Federal Government yesterday, commenced preparatory work on a new National Development Plan with the constitution of 26 Technical Working Groups (TWGs) to work on the strategic themes for the development of credible plans.
Minister of State, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba who disclosed this in Abuja, during a three-day capacity building workshop towards the formulation of the new national development plan, also said that the planning process was inclusive and participatory with the full involvement of the sub-national governments (states and local governments), the Organised Private Sector, the major political parties, the National Assembly, youth and women organisations; the physically-challenged, and other relevant stakeholders. This way, we would have a truly Nigerian National Development Plan and not a federal government plan” he said.
According to Agba, the new plan being articulated are expected to address developmental challenges in all aspects of the country’s national life within the agreed timeframe. The Minister noted that in order to have a very robust outcome, the government thought it wise to build the capacity of the major drivers of the process as the roles of the TWGs Anchors and Heads of Secretariat are critical towards the development of the plans, especially in liaising with other stakeholders such as co-ordinators and deputy co-ordinators drawn from state and non-state actors.
Agba observed that the history of development planning in Nigeria shows a general lack of co-ordination and harmonisation of programmes/policies which have not benefited from a bottom-up approach.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Resident Representative of Konrad-Adenauer (KAS), Dr Vladimir Kreck had said that the COVID-19 pandemic had unleashed devastating effects on the country’s economy as statistics revealed that the second quarter GDP in real terms declined by 6.1 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
Meanwhile the Federal Government has said that Nigeria can only slip into another recession if it records a negative Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in the next quarter.
Reacting to the negative -6.10 per cent GDP figure posted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Agba, said that even if the economy plunges into recession, government has programmed some buffers through financial institutions.
“There are other facilities or programmes that the government has created through financial institution even if we are to go into recession. This is the first time we are having a negative GDP growth in a quarter in the last three years. So, we have had consecutive 12 quarters of positive growth. We are not in recession yet. We can only say we have slipped into recession if we have another quarter of negative growth” he explained.