NDP 2021-2025: REFOCUSING NIGERIA’S ECONOMY FOR AGENDA 2050
By Cyril Okonkwo
President Muhammadu Buhari launched Nigeria’s National Development Plan, NDP 2021-2025 recently. The launch signaled the take-off of another medium-term plan as Nigeria matches on the path to the Agenda 2050. The Agenda 2050 is Nigeria’s long-term development plan, which replaced the Vision 2020—the country’s plan to be among the 20 most developed economies by the year 2020. The Agenda 2050 is aimed at repositioning Nigeria as one of the leading countries of the 21st Century within the next three decades. To achieve this objective, the Buhari administration initiated medium-term plans to be implemented and to ultimately lead to the Agenda 2050.
The NPD 2021-2025 is one of the medium-term plans. It is the successor plan to the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, 2017-2020, whose implementation ended in December 2020.
President Buhari said at the inauguration of the Steering Committee of the Agenda 2050 that the idea behind the conception and implementation of the medium-term plan is to bring out 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in a period of ten years.
Structured around six clusters, the NDP 2021-2025 targets economic growth and development; infrastructure, public administration, human capital development as well as social development and regional development. The plan is underpinned by a macro-economic framework, which projects an average GDP growth of 5% over the plan period.
With an investment size of N348.7 trillion over the five-year period, the NDP 2021-2025 is anchored on the strength of Nigeria’s private sector. Out of the total package, the private sector is expected to invest N298.3 trillion, representing 85.7%, while the public sector will contribute N49.7trillion, representing 14.3%. The public sector expenditure component of N49.7 would be contributed by the federal government and the sub-national governments. The federal government expenditure component is N29.6 trillion, representing 8.5% of the total expenditure size, while the sub-national governments would be contributing N20.1 trillion, representing 5.8%.
The funding strategies identified for the NDP 2021-2025 are broadening the tax base; enhancing the capacity of the private sector through creating investment opportunities and deliberate policy engagements and incentives. Other funding strategies include exploring domestic and concessionary financing sources and setting up of financial investment vehicles, such as growth funds and public private partnership as well as the Nigeria Investment and growth fund.
In designing the NDP 2021-2025, the Nigerian government took cognizance of three weaknesses of the previous medium-term plan. First is that it was not inclusive; second, it was not participatory and third it was a federal government plan that left out the private sector, the state governments and the councils. To avoid these downsides, the planning of the NDP 2021-2025 was done by the federal government in collaboration with the states, the local government and the organized private sector. The planning of the NDP 2021-2025 also involved the major political parties. Women groups, youth groups, religious bodies as well as physically challenged people were also involved at the planning stage.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said at the 2021 Presidential Policy Dialogue organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, in Lagos that boosting productivity through value addition is key in the implementation strategies of the country’s new medium-term plan, the National Development Plan 2021-2025.
The Vice president said that the cornerstone of the strategy is boosting productivity by focusing on value addition as the guiding principle for all sectors, especially agriculture, manufacturing, solid minerals, digital services, tourism, hospitality and entertainment.
With the NPD-2021-2025, it is expected by Nigerians that going forward the country’s annual budget would be derived from the plan as all ministries, departments and agencies would be required to draw their programmes and projects from the detailed plans that they submitted during planning process.
Another important aspect of the NDP 2021-2025 of note and central is job creation using digital transformation plans innovations introduced by the Nigerian government.
The concept, design, implementation and funding strategies of the NDP 2021-2025 points to the premium that the Buhari administration places on the role the private sector plays in modern economies. This follows from the administration’s commitment to drive economic growth through support for the private sector.
As government hits the track in the implementation of the NDP 2021-2025, the expected outcomes will lead to increased number of jobs, growth in the number of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, MSMEs, and increased production of goods and services for both local consumption and export. This will ultimately refocus the country’s economy and ensure Nigeria is positioned as one of the big economies of the 21st Century.