By Ishaq Dan-Imam
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja launched a new long-term national development plan, the Nigeria Agenda 2050 (NA 2050).
He unveiled the document at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, shortly before the commencement of the weekly cabinet meeting, chaired by him.
The new document aims to ensure that the country attains a Per Capita GDP of $33,328 per annum, placing her among the top middle-income economies in the world by the year 2050.
In his remarks, he said the Plan has the vision of a dynamic, industrialized, and knowledge-based economy that generates inclusive and sustainable development for the country.
He added that given the measures already in place for continuous plan implementation, successive Administrations will find the document useful in the delivery of electoral promises.
‘‘You will recall that in March 2020, I approved the development of successor Plans to both Nigeria Vision 20:2020 and the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), 2017-2020. The Plans lapsed in December 2020.
‘‘To give effect to this approval, I inaugurated the National Steering Committee in September 2020 under the leadership of the Hon. Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and a distinguished private sector operator, Mr. Atedo Peterside.
‘‘At the inauguration, I charged the Steering Committee to prepare inclusive Plans that would cover all shades of opinion and ensure even and balanced development, as well as put in place necessary legislations for continuous implementation of Plans even after the expiration of the tenure of successive Administrations.
‘‘It is instructive to inform Council and indeed all Nigerians that I had on December 22, 2021, launched the first of the six number 5-year medium-term plans, the National Development Plan (NDP), 2021-2025, that will be used to implement the Long-Term Plan.
‘‘Council also on March 15, 2023, approved the Nigeria Agenda 2050 that we are launching today,’’ he said.
Commending the National Steering Committee, led by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, and the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, for delivering yet again, on the important national assignment, the President described the unveiling and public presentation of NA 2050 as another milestone in the ‘‘annals of the history of our planning experience, post-independence.’’
He added that this feat has also shown the Administration’s commitment to planning and plan implementation since its assumption of office on May 29, 2015.
In the process of the preparation of the Plan, the Minister of Finance stated that it was not only participatory and consultative but inclusive; involving all critical stakeholders such as all Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory as well as the representatives of Local Government Areas (LGAs).
She listed other stakeholders as the Organized Private Sector, youth organizations, labour unions, traditional and religious institutions, major political parties, women’s organizations, and people with special needs, among others.
‘‘The Nigeria Agenda 2050 is formulated against the backdrop of subsisting economic and social challenges facing the country, including low, fragile, and non-inclusive growth, insecurity, high population growth rate, limited concentric economic diversification, and low productivity.
‘‘The Plan is a long-term economic transformation blueprint designed to address these challenges,’’ she said.
Ahmed also told the President and other FEC members present at the inauguration that with the expected improved capital accumulation, investment as a ratio to GDP is expected to increase from the current 29.40 percent to 40.11 percent by 2050.
She explained that under the Plan, the bulk of the investment is expected to be financed by the private sector while total employment is expected to rise to 203.41 million in 2050 from 46.49 million in 2020.
‘‘This implies that unemployment will drop significantly to 6.3 percent in 2050 from 33.3 percent in 2020. The corollary is that the number of people in poverty will drop to 2.1 percent by 2050 from 83 million in 2020,’’ the Finance Minister said.