Assessing Development Plans in Nigeria: A Case of Vision 20: 2020 by ojrams

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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


      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


                                 CHAPTER ONE


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


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


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


       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


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.

                                CHAPTER TWO


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


      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.

2.4 Finance

      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.

                               CHAPTER THREE


      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


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


         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.

                                    CHAPTER FOUR


4.2 Summary

      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.

4.2 Recommendations

      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.

4.3 Conclusion

      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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