A COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT A POLICY DIALOGUE ON NIGERIA AGENDA 2050 AND THE NEW ADMINISTRATION IN NIGERIA ORGANIZED BY AFRICAN CENTRE FOR LEADERSHIP, STRATEGY & DEVELOPMENT (CENTRE LSD) HELD IN ABUJA, JUNE 15, 2023
The African Centre for Leadership, Strategy Development as part of her policy dialogue series on the 15th of June 2023 held a policy dialogue “themed Nigeria Agenda 2050 and the Incoming Administration.” The theme of the dialogue is rooted on the fact that, in Nigeria when a new government replaces an incumbent, ongoing projects, programmes and policies are often ridiculed and terminated, regardless of their merits and positive impacts on society. The dialogue which is the second in her series of policy dialogues for the year 2023 presented an opportunity for stakeholders to have a shared understanding of the aspirations espoused in the Nigeria Agenda 2050 and interrogate the process of its crafting, content, and the extent of multi-stakeholder engagements in arriving at the final document, while also proffering recommendations that the incoming administration can adopt towards the effective implementation of the Development Plan.
PROCESS AND CONTENT OF NIGERIA AGENDA 2050
The Nigeria Agenda 2050 (NA 2050) is formulated against the backdrop of subsisting economic and social challenge facing the country and provided ways by which the challenges can be solved on a long- and medium-term basis. Some of the challenges include low, fragile, and non-inclusive economic growth and development, high population growth rate, pervasive insecurity, limited concentric economic diversification and transformation of the economy, low productivity, and high import dependence. Other challenges include an un-conducive business environment and limited external competitiveness, deindustrialization, huge infrastructural deficits (transport, power), governance challenges, climate change, limited fiscal space and high incidences of poverty, unemployment, and inequality.
The NA 2050 is the long-term economic transformation blueprint of Nigeria to address the afore-mentioned developmental challenges and become an upper middle-income country, with average real GDP growth rate of 7 percent, nominal GDP of US$11.7 trillion by 2050, and an end period per capita income of US$33,328 per annum. The purpose of this perspective plan is to fully engage all resources to achieve inclusive growth, reduce poverty, achieve social and economic stability, create a sustainable environment that is consistent with global concerns about climate change, and generate opportunities for all Nigerians to fully develop their potential. The country can achieve these laudable objectives by effectively engaging its youthful and vibrant workforce.
The Nigeria Agenda 2050, therefore, highlights the road map for accelerated, sustained and broad-based growth and development, provides frameworks and approaches for reducing unemployment, poverty, inequality, and human deprivation. More specific strategies, programmes, interventions, and the important task of implementation will be articulated through six five-year medium-term plans: NDP (2021-2025) (already approved, published, and being implemented), (2026-2030), (2031-2035), (2036-2040), (2041-2045), and (2046-2050).
Other details of the content of the Nigeria Agenda 2050 is detailed in the following subheads rationale, objectives and priorities; economic growth and development; infrastructure; human capital development; social development and public administration.
Nigeria Agenda 2050 is envisioned in a manner that Nigeria will be a dynamic, industrialized and knowledge-based economy that generates inclusive and sustainable development. Its mission is to provide a framework for implementing a series of appropriate medium-term plans, and annual budgets for inclusive and sustainable development.
The associated broad objectives of the Plan are to:
- Create a stable and predictable macroeconomic environment by adopting policies that are consistent with raising domestic savings and investments.
- Establish a solid foundation for a diversified, private sector-led economy, a more resilient business environment that creates and supports opportunities for Nigerians to realize their potentials.
- Invest in critical physical, financial, digital, and innovation infrastructure.
- Build a solid framework and heightened capacities to strengthen security and ensure good governance.
- Enable a vibrant, educated, and healthy population.
- Effectively address demographic issues, and,
- Evolve into an economic hub in Africa and play a leading role in various regional agreements such as AU Agenda 2063, AFCFTA, and ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme.
These objectives are underpinned by two broad sets of cross-cutting enablers:
- Investing in the economic-social infrastructure and services required to alleviate poverty, and,
- Promoting development opportunities across states to minimize regional economic and social disparities.
PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA AGENDA 2050
The process of the preparation of the plan, 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). Organized Private Sector, youth organizations, labor unions, traditional and religious institutions, major political parties, women’s organizations, and people with special needs, were a critical pat of the development process of the Nigeria Agenda 2050 and led by a National Steering Committee inaugurated 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 who ensured that an all-inclusive Plans that captures all shades of opinion and ensure even and balanced development, as well as put in place necessary legislations for continuous implementation of plans beyond the life span of successive administrations in the country.
The dialogue which had participants drawn from the academia, civil society, international non-governmental organizations, government, and development experts had the following observation.
- Long term development Planning can help to accelerate the development of a country as can be seen from the experiences of China, India, Singapore and Malaysia.
- Nigeria Agenda 2050 provides a pathway to accelerating the growth and development of Nigeria.
- The agenda is very elaborate and covers the major sectors (Agriculture, Industrialisation, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Business Environment, Women, Youth, Health, Education, Sports, Defence etc) that can contribute to accelerating the development of Nigeria.
- The agenda can make a positive difference in Nigeria if implementation is done properly with display of political will and commitment.
- There is poor co-ordination and ownership by the three tiers of government in Nigeria (Federal, State and Local Government) in the process of developing Nigeria Agenda 2050. State Governments were part of the process but did not participate in the technical drafting which can become a challenge during implementation.
- There is the need for a more robust engagement with the private sector and civil society as some of the underlying assumption is public private partnership.
- Corruption and hijack of state institutions and initiatives can undermine the agenda and constitute a big threat to its implementation.
- Partisan considerations can undermine the implementation of the agenda especially from State governments whose political parties are different from that of the Federal Government.
- Challenge of population increases; climate change and violent conflicts can undermine the implementation of the agenda.
- Lack of trust by citizens and lack of ownership can undermine the implementation of the agenda.
- The new administration should adopt and commit to implementing the Nigeria Agenda 2050.
- The new administration should create the structures, institutions and people to drive the agenda.
- The pursuit of diversification is imperative to achieving the Nigeria Agenda 2050.
- The new administration should prioritise the welfare and empowerment of citizens.
- The Federal Government should engage the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) to promote ownership and co-ordination in the implementation of Nigeria Agenda 2050.
- The new administration should build a national awareness around the agenda 2050 with continuous assessment and review.
- The new administration should build elite consensus around the agenda and engage in strategic communication to ensure that the plan is readily available and understood by citizens.
- The new administration should institute annual reviews and a robust monitoring and evaluation system for the Nigeria agenda 2050.
Participants at the dialogue were resolute and determined to continue to engage with stakeholders across sectors – government and non-government, to keep Agenda 2050 on the front burners of development discourse to serve as reminder for government to stay committed to the delivery of the agenda’s milestones. They also called on the government to differentiate itself from those in the past by visualizing governance as a continuum. The dialogue urged CSO to latch in on the existing opportunities of the just sworn in government engage and advocate for the implementation of Agenda 2050 as it can be a catalyst to Nigeria’s development. The dialogue also added that citizens must be mobilized behind the agenda as good governance is everybody’s business.
1. Tim Aniebonam GATE
2. Kingsley Atang Youth Alive Foundation
3. Uche Madubuko CREC
4. Victoria Udoh Centre LSD