Assessing Development Plans in Nigeria: A Case of
Vision 20: 2020
Ugwu Julius Onwuma
The socio-economic development of any society is conspicuously linked to development planning embarked upon by the government. This situation is peculiar to all developed societies and underdeveloped society to which Nigeria belongs.
Nigeria has over the years embarked on various national and rolling development plans. In place, have been four national development plans and rolling plans including development policies such as Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP), Vision 2010, National Economic Empowerment Development Strategies (NEEDS) and currently Vision 2020. These programmes were all initiated to facilitate economic, social, political and technological growth all geared towards improving the living conditions of Nigerians.
In spite of the nobility of these plans, they have significantly failed to achieve desired results as poverty remains pervasive, social infrastructure in a mess, health care still poor and power erratic as ever. Basically, these problems are typical of socio-economic indices in Nigeria.
Factors responsible for the failure of these plans to yield desired results can be traced to poor planning and monitoring of programmes, inadequate funding, corruption, poor accountability etc. these challenges are ubiquitous as far as development plans are concerned and they constitute the challenges NV 20:2020 is bound to face.
This study therefore, critically examines past development plans, reasons for there failure and it takes an incisive look at the vision 2020 and how the possible challenges it could be confronted with could be surmounted.
Table of Contents
Title page . . . . . . . . . . 1
Preface . . . . . . . . . . 2
Table of contents . . . . . . . . . 4
Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background of the study . . . . . . 6
1.2 Overview of past national development plans in Nigeria . . 8
1.2.1 First national development plan (1962-68) . . . . 8
1.2.2 Second national development plan (1970-74) . . . 8
1.2.3 Third national development plan (1975-80) . . . . 9
1.2.4 Fourth national development plan (1981-85) . . . 9
1.2.5 National rolling plans . . . . . . . 10
1.2.6 Other national development plans . . . . . 10
Chapter Two: Critical Insight into Vision 20: 2020
2.1 Meaning of vision 20: 2020 . . . . . . 12
2.2 Strategic framework . . . . . . . . 13
2.3 Main Organs of Vision 2020 framework . . . . 14
2.4 Finance . . . . . . . . . . 14
2.5 Possible challenges . . . . . . . . 15
Chapter Three: Impact Assessment of Development Plans in Nigeria
3.1 Infrastructure development . . . . . . 17
3.2 Socio-economic development . . . . . . 18
3.3 Political development . . . . . . . 19
3.4 Technological development . . . . . . 20
Chapter Four: Summary, Conclusion and Recommendations
4.1 Summary . . . . . . . . .21
4.2 Recommendations . . . . . . . . 22
4.3 Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . 22
1.1 Background of the study
Nations all over the world fall into 2 divisions, developed and underdeveloped societies. This division is usually hinged on social, economic and political prosperity. Perceived developed societies are societies that boast of the best economies, politics, infrastructure, technologies and most importantly, standard of living. These societies in the present world order direct global economies and politics. In this envious class are countries such as; the USA, Britain, Germany, France, Japan etc. These societies are equipped with all the paraphernalia of development. But this situation does not suggest that they have stopped striving to be better developed or that they have ceased to make efforts towards the improvement of their economies, politics or technologies. Consequently, they continually embark on development policies and initiatives aimed at boosting their level of development.
In contrast to these developed societies are underdeveloped societies. Underdeveloped societies are nations which compared to others lacks; industrialization, infrastructure, developed agriculture, and developed natural resources, and suffers from a low per capita income as a result. Some of these countries are; Republic of Congo, Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Niger and Nigeria.
Nigeria as an underdeveloped nation striving to develop has over the years embarked on various National Development Plans (NDP) from 1962 when the First National Development Plan was conceived to present day.
Ikeanyibe (2009) describes development planning as a necessary tool used by many governments and organizations to set their visions, missions, goals, and effective means of realizing development through effective direction and control.
Since independence, Nigeria have had more than 5 National Development Plans and Rolling Plans with concomitant programmes and projects aimed at fast-tracking infrastructure development but still poverty is widespread and development indices are unimaginably low (Onah, 2006). This situation is not caused by the paucity of these national development plans but rather on poor planning, inadequate financing, corruption, political instability but to mention a few.
Currently, the democratic regime of President Goodluck Jonathan like every government that has come and gone has in place a national development plan christened ‘Vision 2020’, though originally established by the late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua. A juxtapose at this policy document shows that it’s a viable document that is expertly formulated and well intended for socio-economic and political development if holistically implemented, but if allowed to suffer similar fate that befell past development initiatives then such a laxity would further aggravate the socio-economic ills presently been experienced and this would generally make living conditions worse for the populace.
1.2 Overview of Past National Development Plans in Nigeria
According to Eberinwa (2005) development planning in Nigeria can be traced back to 1946 when the ten year development plan for 1946-56 was initiated. However, this plan came to a premature end in October, 1954 when the Federal system of government was introduced. A second plan was introduced for five years from 1955-1960. But this plan was later revived and extended to 1962 when the first national plan of the Nigerian government was established.
1.2.1 First National Development Plan (1962-68)
The first Nigerian National Development Plan was an ambitious economic plan that was launched in 1962 with a six year target that envisaged the spending of about $1,900,000,000 on development and productivity enhancing projects.
The plan was designed as a coordinated effort between the federal and regional governments with emphasis on technical education, agriculture and industry; it also allowed a mixed economic system (Daily Defender, 1962).
1.2.2 Second National Development Plan (1970-74)
Postwar reconstruction, restoring productive capacity, overcoming critical bottlenecks, and achieving self-reliance were major goals of the Second National Development Plan. The replacement cost of physical assets damaged and destroyed in the civil war with the secessionist Igbo area in the southeast, then known as Biafra, was estimated to exceed N600 million (then about US$900 million).
1.2.3 Third National Development Plan (1975-1980)
The national economic advisory council created in 1972 coordinated and prepared the plan with consultations from the private sector. The objectives of the plan were welfarist in nature since they were aimed principally at improving the lot of the common man as it was centred on increasing per capita income, foster even distribution of income, reduce unemployment, economic diversification, promotion of balanced development, encourage indigenization of economic activities etc.
1.2.4 Fourth National Development Plan (1981-85)
This plan was formulated by a democratically elected government under a new constitution based on the presidential system of government. Secondly with a projected capital expenditure of about N82Billion, the Plan is considerably bigger than all its predecessors (Ohagwu, 2005). Okeke (2006: 146) in his analysis emphasizes that the plan for the first time involved the local governments. The emphasis was on domestic raw material for local industries and promotion of employment opportunities.
The Ideals of the plan however failed to meet the economic target thus leading to the country’s inability to settle her external debts. Consequently, the country was compelled to introduce Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in 1986.
1.2.5 National Rolling plans
` In late 1989, the administration of General Ibrahim Babangida abandoned the concept of a fixed five-year plan. Instead, a three-year "rolling plan" was introduced for 1990-92 in the context of more comprehensive fifteen- to twenty-year plans. A rolling plan, considered more suitable for an economy facing uncertainty and rapid change, is revised at the end of each year, at which point estimates, targets, and projects are added for an additional year. Thus, planners would revise the 1990-92 three year rolling plan at the end of 1990, issuing a new plan for 1991-93. In effect, a plan is renewed at the end of each year, but the number of years remains the same as the plan rolls forward.
1.2.6 Other National Development Plans
Before the first national rolling plan in 1990 there was the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) between 1986 and 1989. During this scheme various reforms took place under it.
In 1996 vision 2010 was set up to look to look all aspects of the Nigerian society, helping to define for the country its correct bearing and sense of political, socio-cultural and economic direction (IDEA, Inc).
And finally National Economic Empowerment Development Strategies (NEEDS), a four year programme initiated in 2003. NEEDS, a home-grown programme aimed at tackling socio-economic challenges.
CRITICAL INSIGHT INTO NIGERIA VISION 20:2020
2.1 Meaning of Nigeria Vision 2020
Igbuzor (2010) explains that the Nigeria Vision 2020 economic transformation blueprint is a ten year plan for stimulating Nigeria’s economic growth and launching the country onto a path of sustained and rapid economic growth to become one of the top twenty economies by 2020. The vision is anchored on the Nigerian Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) and the seven point agenda of President Umar Yar’Adua.
The process of developing the vision included the formation of the National Council on Vision 2020; inputs from ministries, agencies, state and local governments as well as the private sector with the National Planning Commission playing a co-ordinating role. It also involved the analysis of 29 thematic areas and the participation of 12 special interest groups including the legislature, judiciary, media, women, youth, traditional rulers, religious groups, security, Nigerians in Diaspora, persons with disability, labour and the civil service.
The realisation of the vision is hinged on creating the platform for success by urgently and immediately addressing the most debilitating constraints to Nigeria’s growth and competitiveness; forging ahead with diligence and focus in developing the fabric of the envisioned economy and developing and deepening the capability of government to consistently translate national strategic intent into action and results by instituting evidence based decision making in Nigeria’s policy space.
2.2 Strategic Framework
The strategic framework encompasses the background, the Vision statement, the strategic objectives, the theme and Plan thrust, and the national investment priorities for the next four years. It also integrates the strategic framework for the national statistics and demographic data, private sector, financial sector and regional development strategies. The articulation of the strategic framework was premised on Nigeria’s Vision of becoming one of the twenty largest economies by the year 2020.
In line with the three key pillars of the Vision, and the theme, the Plan, seeks to engender accelerated pro-poor growth, achieve an average GDP growth rate of 11 percent, raise the GDP per capita from $1075, in 2009 to $2,008.75 by 2013, generate jobs to absorb the teeming unemployed and create new opportunities, improve the nation’s global competitiveness and raise the public confidence on the nation’s governance and political system, among others, in order to attain the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, and move the nation towards achieving its Vision by 2020. The plan has six main policy thrusts and programme thrusts in physical infrastructure, productive sector, human capital development, developing a knowledge based economy, government and administration, regional geopolitical zone development including the integration of state programmees and investment.
2.3 Main Organs for Vision 2020 Framework
The main organs of the framework for the development and implementation of the Vision 2020 plan are as follows: National Council on Vision 2020 (NCV2020) with the President as the Chairman. There is the National Steering Committee (NSC) consisting of about 70 members. The National Steering Committee is anchored by the National Planning Commission (NPC) and chaired by the minister. The National Steering Committee shall be supported by the National Technical Working Groups (NTWGs). The NTWGV2020 will comprise of about 20-25 groups of experts for the identified thematic areas drawn from both public and private. Also included as one of the organs is the stakeholder Develpoment committee, comprising of state governments, MDAs and other key institutions and the Economic management team, which is to serve as the think-tank to drive the visioning process.
Aggregate Federal Government expenditure during the plan period is estimated at N17,411.49 billion. Of this, N6,770.27 billion or 38.88 per cent is projected for capital projects.
2.5 Possible challenges
Arizona-Ogwu (2008) in his view thinks that Nigeria has faced numerous challenges in achieving sustainable development since independence in 1960 in spite of its abundant human and natural resources. From the time Nigeria gained independence on October 1, 1960 to date, repeated efforts have been made to define a suitable framework for socio-political and economic development. In this regard, not less than five national development plans have been inaugurated. It is still worthy to note that all these development plans had the intentions of doing the following: Developing a stable broad-based democratic system; Generating employment opportunities and meeting the basic needs of the people; Achieving food security by massively investing in agriculture ;Investing in education; Developing critical sectors of the Nigerian economy; Establishing an effective macroeconomic framework that attracts investment; Directing the formal and informal sectors of the economy; Promoting economic stability and sustaining non-inflationary growth and social justice; Nurturing independent and responsible media, labour unions, NGOs and other institutions of civil society; Developing an effective and efficient public service, judiciary and law enforcement system; Reorienting Nigerian society along the path of honesty, probity, God consciousness, mutual respect, trust, tolerance, gender sensitivity and co-operation; Ensuring sincere and committed leadership and an enlightened and empowered citizenry; and strengthening and sustaining Nigerian’s leadership role in Africa. All the above development plans were brilliantly formulated but suffered from deficiency of scope, poor implementation, budgetary indiscipline and general corruption.
IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF DEVELOPMENT PLANS IN NIGERIA
The impact assessment of the nation’s national development plans shall be anchored from the socio-economic, political, infrastructure and technological perspective of the country.
3.1 Infrastructure Development
According to Ajalenkoko (2008) the term "infrastructure development" has assumed a central importance in our fight to attain social and economic stability. The value of infrastructure cannot be underplayed. The World Bank estimates that every 1 per cent spent on infrastructure leads to an equivalent 1 per cent increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which invariably means that there is a correlation between any meaningful inputs in infrastructure development which reflects on economic growth, indices.
Within the first two years after independence in 1960 made great strides and achievements in every aspect of our national life. But currently the Nigerian public utility and infrastructure services are remarkably weak for a country which is the world’s sixth largest oil exporter. King (2003: 8, 9) further points that Nigeria’s public electrical generating capacity is less than that of Bosnia, an underdeveloped Balkan country with approximately one twenty-fifth Nigeria’s population. Eighty percent of rural households in Nigeria lack an electrical connection, and one-half do not even have running water. Power outages are an everyday occurrence throughout the country, and as a result all significant businesses must purchase backup generators.
The transport infrastructure is extremely poor. The rail system, once good, now barely operates, so that almost all commercial freight must be moved by roads. Nigeria is well-known for expending large sums on infrastructure projects, only to fail to allocate recurring funds for their maintenance. (This is symptomatic of public procurement systems dominated by front-end rent-seeking.) As a result, road quality is poor and inordinate maintenance expenses are transferred to the private sector, in the form of repair costs for road-damaged vehicles. The same goes for waterways, a key transportation mode in the Niger delta. Lagos road traffic congestion is legendary.
3.2 Socio-economic Development
Bayo (2000) and Evbuomwan (1996) observed that in the 60s, Nigeria depended on agriculture for her revenue, which in turn, was used to provide life sustaining goods for the citizen.
The discovery of petroleum by Nigeria marked the turning point of Nigeria and by the turn of 1970, agriculture has been pushed to a distant background. Onwioduokit and Ashinze (1996) observed that it was in the 70s when Nigeria witnessed oil boom that brought about major shift from agriculture to petroleum. The bulk of the revenue of Nigeria now comes from petroleum. Since then, Nigeria has depended heavily on crude oil and this causes instability in the economy due to fluctuation in the price of crude oil in the world market.
Socio-economic indices are such that poverty and unemployment is pervasive. Social infrastructure generally is poor, especially power, which is unstable affecting; production level, employment generation, lowering investment level, income etc. These days importation is generally high as almost all commodities are imported by Nigerians with little exportation considered. GDP and per capita ratios are low and the standard of living worse than can ever be imagined.
3.3 Political Development
The Nigerian polity is one that has been plagued by inconsistent and bad leadership. The political structure in Nigeria had been a tussle for power between civilians and the military. The military held sway for over 25 years before power was finally transferred to the democratically elected government of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. A dream Nigerians had clamoured for all their lives.
The democratic process in Nigeria has been quite pathetic as the government and its cohorts in the corridors of power have being indifferent towards the plight of the masses taking for granted social provisioning. But rather, they have been greatly concerned with carting away public monies in Ghana-must-go bags, stealing election boxes, rigging, fuelling political crises and indulging in all sorts of unpatriotic ventures.
In Nigeria today, entering political office is based on ‘cash and carry’ and little attention is paid to the electorates who are consistently denied the right to vote by ‘political hooligans’ who disguise themselves as politicians.
3.4 Technological Development
Technology in recent times, most especially the 21st century has become a major feature in the discourse of societal development. It is a tool for accelerating development objectives as it involves critical and cautious planning through the use of sophisticated inputs.
The high concentration of technology by developed societies has been greatly instrumental to the development of these societies. The application of technology explains the sophistication of their economic indices.
Developing nations all over the world today including Nigeria are now alive to the relevance of technology to societal development. But in spite of this, the level of technology so far achieved is still poor to improve the nation’s state of development.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Considering the plethora of socio-economic problems Nigeria is faced with successive governments have made attempts to address these Undying problems through the perpetual establishment of development plans. Most of these plans to say the least have been considered laudable and purposeful. But their wholesomeness has failed to take away the nightmarish conditions inherent in the society today.
This situation as earlier emphasized in this study by Arizona-Ogwu can be attributed to deficiency of scope, poor implementation, budgetary indiscipline and general corruption. These factors are the major constraints that killed off the good intentions of development plans in the past and it is the challenges government policies, programmes and projects are faced with and the present Vision 2020 is not going to be any different. For it to succeed it will have to overcome these challenges.
Omoh and Umoru reports that the Economic Summit (NES) concluded that for the nation’s economy to grow between $800 billion and $900 billion with a minimum average annual GDP growth rate of 13-15 per cent and if the country must rank among the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020 the following must be done;
There must be consolidation of Nigeria’s leadership role in Africa as well as extend her influence on the global level.
Life expectancy index in Nigeria must rise from 46 to over 70 years, improved infant mortality as well as improved maternal mortality in the area of health by 2010. Participants at the conference added that the nation should be able to deliver 13,500MW of power, conclude and implement the gas policy at that date.
In the area of transport, the government must conclude a 100 per cent rehabilitation of roads at all levels, construct the East-West Rail Line and open up the Inland Waterways. And that security of lives, strnghtening of institutions of representative democracy and improvement of access and speed to justice must all be considered top priority.
Most importantly all these can be achieved if consistent emphasis is placed on adequate project and programmes monitoring.
The Nigerian 2020 contains series of objectives geared towards socio-economic, infrastructure, political development and technological advancement. These objectives are bound to improve the living conditions of the citizenry if efficiently implemented. The efficient implementation of this plan lies in the availability of funds and consistent monitoring of programmes and projects.
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