Current Economic Plans: MDGs, NEEDS and VISION 2020

Introduction to Current Economic Planning Instruments

Economic planning instruments are aimed towards the economic growth and development of Nigeria. Recently, the Federal Government of Nigeria introduced some current economic planning instruments into the economy of the nation.

Some of the popular current economic instruments introduced by the federal government are:

(1) The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
(2) The National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS)
(3) The Vision 20:2020.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs):
The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that were officially established following the millennium summit of the United Nations in 2000.

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight international development goals that all 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organization have agreed to achieve by the year 2015. They include reducing extreme poverty reducing child mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development (United Nations Development Goals website).

Following the adoption of the United Nations millennium declaration, all the 193 united nation member states and at least 23 international organizations have agreed to achieve these goals by the year2015.

The goals are:
1. Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieving universal primary education
3. Promoting gender equality and empowering women.
4. Reducing child mortality rates.
5. Improving maternal health.
6. Combating fly/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
7. Ensuring environmental sustainability
8. Developing a global partnership for development.

Each of the goals has specific stated targets and dates for achieving those targets.

Objectives of MDGs
(1) Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Target 1: Halve, between 1990 and 2015 the proportion of people whose income is less than one dollar a day
Target 2: Halve, between 1990 and 2015 the proportion of people whose suffer from hunger.

(2) Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education. –
Target 3: Ensure that by 2015, children everywhere will be able to complete a full course of primary school

(3) Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women.
Target 4: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and to all levels of education not later than 2015.

(4) Goal 4: Reduce child mortality rate.
Target 5: Reduce by two-third, between 1990 and 2015 the under five mortality rate

(5) Goal 5: Improve maternal health.
Target 6: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015 the maternal mortality rate.

(6) Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS malaria and other diseases
Target 7: Have halted by 2013 and starts to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
Target 8: Have halted by2015 and starts to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

(7) Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability.
Target 9: Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes and reverse the loss of environmental resources
Target 10: Halve by 2015 the proportional of people without
sustainable access to safe drinking water.
Target 11. By 2020 to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of a least 100 million slum dwellers.

(8) Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development.
Target 12: Deal comprehensively with the debt problems of developing countries through national and international measures in order to make debt sustainable in the long term
Target 13: In cooperation with the private sector, make available the benefits of new technologies, especially information and communications

Meaning and Objectives Of National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (NEEDS)
The National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS) is derived from the urgent requirement for value orientation, the objective of which is to sound the message clearly, that it is not business as usual.

Therefore, the bedrock of NEEDS is its vision of a Nigeria with a new set of values and principles, which will facilitate the achievements of national goals of wealth creation, employment generation and poverty reduction.

The 2004 National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) focuses on Nigeria’s commitment to sustainable growth, and poverty reduction.

NEEDS is Nigeria’s home- grown poverty reduction strategy (PRSP). NEEDS is not just a plan on paper, it is a plan on the ground and founded on a clear vision, sound values, and enduring principles. It is a medium term strategy (2003– 07) but which derives from the country’s long-term goals of poverty reduction, wealth creation, employment generation and value re-orientation.

NEEDS is based on three pillars:
(1) empowering people and improving social service delivery;
(2) fostering economic growth, in particular in the non-oil private sector; and,
(3) enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of government, while improving governance.

On the State level, State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategies (SEEDS) are being developed to compliment NEEDS. The donor community, made up of IBRD, DFID, EU and UNDP, is taking advantage of this change to align their local programs to improve the quality of assistance to the country.

Since states receive over 52% of federal resources, National Population Commission (NPC) – in collaboration with the donors-decided to develop a system whereby state performance can be monitored using SEEDS and to identify priority areas and states that demonstrate effective use of allocated resources.

The SEEDS process was launched in early 2004 and a SEEDS Manual designed by the National Planning Commission (NPC) setting out the required contents and process for an effective SEEDS was disseminated to all state via a national dissemination process involving representatives of government, civil society and the private sector at state level. Subsequently, technical assistance was offered to all state to support the development of their SEEDS by teams of consultants with relevant expertise.

Objectives of NEEDS
The objective of NEEDS are mainly threefold:
(i) Poverty Reduction
(ii) Employment Generation
(iii) Wealth Creation

Meaning and Objectives Of Vision 2020
Nigeria Vision 20:2020 is a national effort aimed at growing and developing Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and bringing her to the league of the world’s 20 leading economies by year 2020.

What is Nigeria Vision 20:2020?
The Nigeria Vision 20:2020 (NV20:2020) is Nigeria’s long term development goal designed to propel the country to the league of the top 20 economies of the world by 2020. Attainment of the Vision would enable the country achieve a high standard of living for its citizens.

The NV20: 2020 was developed by Nigerians for the Nigerian people and involved a process of thorough engagement with all stakeholders across all levels of government and society.

The Vision is therefore, a rallying point for all Nigerians, regardless of ethnicity, political leaning, economic status, or religion behind a common cause of placing the country on a sustainable development path and transformation into a modern society better able to play a greater role in the comity of nations.

The Vision will be pursued through a series of three – four year plan which will further articulate the strategies, policies, projects and programmes among other things.

What are the Objectives of the NV 20:2020?
The two broad objectives are to:
(i) Make efficient use of human and natural resources to achieve rapid economic growth and
(ii) Translate the economic growth into equitable social development for all citizens.

The development aspirations cut across four dimensions:
• Social – building a peaceful, equitable, harmonious and just society;
• Economic – developing a globally competitive economy;
• Institutional – having a stable and functional democracy; and
• Environmental – achieving a sustainable management of the nation’s natural resources.

Why Nigeria Needs NV20:2020
Nigeria has had a relatively long experience in development planning beginning with the Colonial Development Plan (1958-1968). Fixed medium-term development plans and National Rolling Plans were also developed and implemented with mixed results. Other strategic efforts such as the Structural Adjustment Programme, National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS), the strategy for attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the 7-Point Agenda were not effectively implemented, and therefore, recorded modest success.

The Seven Point Agenda encompasses the following areas:
• Power and energy
• Food security and agriculture
• Wealth creation and employment
• Land reform
• Security
• Qualitative and functional education

Weak implementation of these strategic development initiatives has constrained the country’s growth and development.

Another reason for plan underachievement and failures was lack of political will to see the development strategy through to the end. Nigeria has, therefore, adopted a long term approach to development planning and set for itself the goal of being among the 20 largest economies of the world by 2020.

This is why it has chosen the following vision Statement:
“By 2020, Nigeria will have a large, strong, diversified, sustainable and competitive economy that effectively harnesses the talents and energies of its people and responsibly exploits its natural endowments to guarantee a high standard of living and quality of life to its citizens”.

In the context of globalization and the increasing relevance of Nigeria as a leading emerging market economy, the need for total transformation of Nigeria through long-term development management strategies has become compelling.

Importance of Vision 20:2020
Vision 20:2020 is important for the following reasons:

  • Need for Nigeria to plan development on a long-term basis in order to achieve structural transformation;
    • Need to reduce the country’s over dependence on oil;
    • Need to effectively transform the lives of Nigerians in terms of significant improvements in their standards of living; and
    • Need for the country take its rightful position among the nations of the world

How Will Nigeria Vision 20:2020 (NV20:2020) Transform the Economy?
The NV20:2020 offers strategies towards realizing Nigeria’s potentials and her emergence as one of the 20 leading global economies in the world by 2020.

The specific actions to be taken in that direction include:

  • Aggressively pursue a structural transformation of the economy from a mono-product to a diversified and industrialized economy;
  • Investing in human capital to transform the Nigerian people into active agents for growth and national development; Investing in infrastructure to create an enabling environment for growth, industrial competitiveness and sustainable development;
  • Urgently and immediately address the most serious constraints to Nigeria’s growth and competitiveness such as :
    (i) Poor and decaying infrastructure
    (ii) Epileptic power supply
    (iii) Weak fiscal and monetary policy co-ordination
    (iv) Fiscal dominance and its implications for inflation and private sector financing
    (v) Pervasive rent-seeking behaviour by private and public agents, including corruption
    (vi) Weak institutions and regulatory deficit
    (vii) Policy reversals and lack of follow-through
    (viii) Inordinate dependence on the oil sector for government revenue/expenditure
    (ix) Disconnect between the financial sector and the real sector
    (x) High population growth which places undue stress on basic life- sustaining resources and eventually results in diminished well-being and quality of life.
    (xi) Insecurity of lives and property
    (xii) Threats of climate change, especially in relation to food production
    (xiii) Vulnerabilities in the global economic environment, in particular, the global
    (xiv) economic crisis and disturbances in the international oil market.

Goals of VISION20:2020

(a) Improving the Well-Being and Productivity of Nigerians
The main goal of Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020 is to improve the well-being of Nigerians. In this direction, the Vision aims to reduce the problems of hunger, poverty, poor healthcare, inadequate housing, low quality human capital, gender imbalance, low productivity and poor basic facilities by 2020.

(b) Eradicating Extreme Hunger and Poverty
NV20:2020 will reduce poverty through the design and implementation of people-centred poverty alleviation programmes and policies. The Vision will adopt a decentralised approach to the development and implementation of pro-poor programmes. A scheme will be developed for monitoring, evaluating and cost-benefit appraisals of all poverty reduction programmes.

(c) Guaranteeing Food Security
NV20:2020 will adopt supporting initiatives to protect long-term use of farmlands and put in place clear property rights. It will also support agricultural research and promote greater dissemination/adoption of appropriate agricultural technologies.

(d) Enhancing Access to Quality/Affordable Healthcare
NV20:2020 will enhance access to quality and affordable healthcare through the establishment of at least one general hospital in each of the 774 local government areas in the country with each hospital having specialists in surgery, pediatrics, medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology. Teaching hospitals, federal medical centres, specialist and general hospitals will also be well equipped.

(e) Sustaining Access to Portable Water and Basic Sanitation
NV20:2020 will ensure sustainable access to portable water and basic sanitation. This will involve developing unified programmes and manuals of management, operation and maintenance for urban, small town and rural water and sanitation services. The Vision plans to implement programmes to control environmental degradation and pollution and promote sustainable use and conservation of natural resources.

(f) Making Housing Accessible and Affordable
The Vision will provide affordable housing through collaboration among federal, states and local governments to produce and implement a unified and integrated housing development programme, open up new layouts and provide sites and services for the private sector to develop affordable and decent mass housing.

(g) Developing Human Capital
The Vision considers education as both a basic human right and a critical element in human development. NV20:2020 seeks to re-focus the country’s educational system in terms of access, equity, quality, infrastructure, teacher quality and development, curriculum relevance, funding and planning. More attention would be given to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) to provide skilled manpower in applied science, engineering technology and commerce to operate, maintain and sustain the nation’s economic activities for rapid socioeconomic development.

(h) Acquiring Education and Skills
The decline in the standard of education has seriously affected the competitiveness of Nigerian graduates in the national and global labour markets, making it difficult for them to get jobs globally, especially in the ICT sub-sector. The Vision plans to make the curriculum in schools more relevant to the needs of the labour-market. To this end, emphasis will be on ICT diffusion and targeted skills development.

(i) Generating Employment and Protecting Jobs
The Vision intends to improve labour management relations environment to ensure higher employment, job protection and greater productivity. The focus will be to strengthen entrepreneurship development/training and social inclusion.

(j) Empowering Persons with Disability
The NV20:2020 will address the problems of Persons with Disability (PWD) by reviewing the educational system and laws on discrimination as well as awareness creation for establishing Self Help Groups (SHG) and Cooperative Societies.

(k) Ensuring Gender Equality and Women Empowerment
The Vision will promote respect for all irrespective of race, class, disability or gender. The strategy for promoting gender equality and women empowerment will be systematic inclusion of all gender in every aspects of national life. This involves increasing the number of women in top positions in the workplace to at least 30 per cent by 2015 and put in place reforms to promote the principles of non-discrimination, protection and promotion of gender equality.

(l) Improving Access to Micro-credit
NV20:2020 will simplify access to credit for national development. It will also bring about improvement in technology with focus on modern banking methods that would increase branch, regional and international spread.

(m) Enhancing Productivity through Entertainment and Recreation
The Vision will actively promote a culture of entertainment and recreation. Thus, investments will be channelled to the development of sporting and recreational facilities (stadia, parks, gymnasia, race courses, courts, etc) through rehabilitation and modernisation of existing ones and establishment of new facilities at the federal, state, and LGA levels as well as in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions across the country. (Abridge Version of Vision 20:2020 Document)

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