President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has rolled out an aggressive Medium-Term National Development Plan(MTNDP), also known as Nigeria’s Agenda 2050, to provide  the needed direction for the country’s development strides.

To anchor this Plan, the president has also inaugurated a National Steering Committee, jointly headed by Mr Atedo Peterside and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, to ensure the Successor Plan delivers on its mandate.

The Committee’s primary responsibility is to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next 10 years. This is taking into consideration the World Bank’s projection that Nigeria would become the world’s third  most populous country by 2050, with over 400 million people. 

Again, the Committee is to ensure the MTNDP succeeds and takes over from the Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan(ERGP), both of which would lapse in December this year; for continuity in the country’s development engagement.

With a  governance structure comprising a Central Working Group and 26 technical working groups for it’s assignments, the Committee will oversee the execution of key deliverables. This includes recommending measures through legislative backing to ensure plan implementation transcends successive administrations and partisan politics.President Buhari  has also stressed that the Successor Plan should not lose sight of Nigeria’s role in global affairs. In effect, the plan must be designed to sustain national development, sustain regional and global strategic interests as outlined in the African Union Agenda 2063, the ECOWAS Integration Agenda 2050 and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

This is a brilliant plan, no doubt. But Nigeria has never been in lack of plans, policies and government white papers. The problem has always been the political will to implement them religiously,  the corruption in the system and the Nigerian factor of impunity. To lift 100 million people out of poverty in ten years is quite onerous, if not an uphill task.  Let us see if the MTNDP will not go the way of ERGP and Vision 20:2020, as toothless bulldogs.

John Daniel Obioma.

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