CEM REPORT | The Honorable Minister of States for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba has urged any incoming administration to stick to the implementation of the National Development Plan developed under the current APC administration.
Agba spoke with Continental Economy Magazine in a side interview on Saturday at the Annual Retreat/Convention of Usagbe Club of Nigeria held on 1st to 3rd of July 2022 in Lekki, Lagos.
The Honorable Minister said that the current National Development Plan was developed with the involvement of all stakeholders in the country which included the different political parties, major religious groups, organized private sectors, civil societies, States and Zones.
“In developing the National Development Plan, we ensured that every segment of the society was carried along including the different political parties. We invited the PDP former Chairman, Uche Secondus, APGA Chairman and the APC Chairman to be involved in the development of the plan.
“Six Governors representing the six geo-political zones and the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON were part of the plan regardless of their Political parties, they were from PDP, APC, APGA and every other party that they represent.
“Furthermore, all the 36 States of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory brought 2 representative each to be part of the development of the plan.
“Religion leaders, Sultan of Sokoto as representative of the Muslim and President of the Christian Association of Nigeria as the representative of Christians were all involved”; Agba said.
The Honorable Minister said that implementation of the plan is private sector centered and focused; thus the reason for the third volume that focused on the various binding constraints militating against private sector from thriving.
Representing the private sector are major private sector led and industry based organizations and notable individuals who chaired major committees and head working teams while developing the plan.
“We have even said, in terms of implementation of the plan, it has to be the organized private sector and that is why we looked at the various binding constraints militating against private sector from thriving and we came up with volume 3 of the plan which we call the legislative imperative 18 laws 10 policies that needs to change in order to allow the private sector to thrive.
“With the private sector, we have Atedo Peterside as the Chair of the National Steering Committee, we have the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), President of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Nigerian Economic Society, NACCIMA, and women forum. We made sure that the National Co-chairman was a woman, Chairman of the central working group was a woman, and 6 out of the 26 technical working group which we had were chaired by women.
“So it was not government on the fore front, government was only facilitating because the President didn’t want it to be seen as his plan or APC plan”; Clement Agba said.
In view of the inclusiveness in developing the plan, the Minister therefore strongly urge the next government that will come to power regardless of the political should endevour to continue with the implementation of the plan.
“It wasn’t my plan, It was wasn’t the President’s plan, neither was it APC plan, it is a National Development Plan. So it doesn’t matter which government comes in, I urge that the plan should be implemented.”
Clement Agba also spoke in support of the ongoing Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs) scrutiny following observed duplication of duties and responsibilities. He concurred that not only some MDAs functions are duplicated, there are also issues pay disparity where some MDAs are paid higher than others.
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Agba said “It is true that some MDAs’ functions are duplicated. That is why there is a team that was set up some years ago that have produced a report. Also, President has assigned a team to look at those reports and see how MDAs can be harmonized.
“Not only in terms of number of MDAs, even in pay disparity. Some Agencies earn so high, others earn so low and yet they work in the same government. These have effect on motivation, everybody want to go to a particular agency because they earn much more. That is something that needs to be taken care of.
“Even after the Oronsaye’s report, more agencies have been created. So there is every need to harmonize and re-organize them to get things to work better”