Mrs. Zainab Ahmed The Pearl Dream Inc

FG says N350tr devt plan will expunge obstacles to business, secure Nigeria’s future

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, has declared that the National Development Plan (2021-2025) has been designed to secure the future of Nigeria, including satisfying requirements for attainment of Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

The minister stated this during a special TV forum organised to examine binding constraints to implementation of the NDP. Details of what transpired during the event were released to journalists in Abuja, yesterday.

The forum was attended by Special Adviser to the President on Finance and Economy, Dr. Sarah Alade; Minister of State for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba and Permanent Secretary, Nebeolisa Anako.

It also had in attendance, Special Adviser to the President on Ease of Doing Business, Dr. Jumoke Oduwole; Acting Director, Macro-Economic Analysis Department, Felix Amaechi Okonkwo and an Economist, Dayo Alao.

Ahmed gave an insight on why the government decided to drive the NDP. She said: “I want to place on record that this plan is sufficiently comprehensive with the capacity to attain various regional and global agendas, including the African Union Agenda 2063, the ECOWAS Integration Agenda 2050 and the Sustainable Development Goals 2030.

“To have the future we all desire, the plan is developed to play a sizeable role in the product complexity space internationally and also adopt measures to ease constraints that have hindered the economy from attaining its full potentials, particularly in the product mapping space.”

Okonkwo said the NDP would be driven by the private sector with N300 trillion investment. He said: “Let me just mention that this plan is different from other plans we have had in the past, very different. It is going to be driven by the private sector. The funding, the investment size envelope of this plan is about N350 trillion, out of which the private sector is providing N300 trillion, while the government is providing N50 trillion approximately.

“The actual figure is N348 trillion but I just decided to round off the number. So, 68 per cent of investment size of the plan is from the private sector, while only 14 per cent is from the public.”

According to Agba, the plan was carefully done to ensure it is not seen as an agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Federal Government of Nigeria and All Progressives Congress.

He said: “We wanted the plan to be a National Development Plan where there is inclusiveness and participation and no one is left behind. The plan itself is already running because the budget is derived from the plan. But again, you know that, the plan sometimes cannot be so sacrosanct, you know there is also room for flexibility.

“Some of the projections we made in terms of revenues…we were challenged this year, when, from the oil sector, there was so much theft coming on that oil producers, that is the international oil companies, had a short in production. So, that affected revenue drastically.”

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