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Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by Lagosboy: 5:11pm On May 21, 2013
V20:2020 and the Future of Development Planning in Nigeria (1).

Dr Shamsudeen Usman, the minister of national planning, recently confirmed what many of us knew all along, that the vision 20:2020 remains a pipe dream. I would come back to vision 20:2020, but before that, let us delve into the debate on development planning as an instrument of economic prosperity. Development planning I must say is not limited to economic planning but extends to social and human development. From this perspective, development planning can or should be understood as economic planning to fulfill a social function – human and social development.

One might wonder about the significance of calling for planning when all government plan or should plan. This is true; more so, a budget is a plan and every government runs a budget. But, this planning confusion is often generated by economists or development experts, and can be traced to the context in which the call for planning is often based. My example here is a recent article by Odilim Enwegbara in which he called for comprehensive development planning in Nigeria. He said; “That is why moving economies like ours in the right development route should start with the full abandonment of everything neoliberal. It should begin only when we embrace planning as the secret of development because planning systematically dismantles the assumed mysteries surrounding development …That is why neoliberals are against developing countries embracing planning in their quest to development … To restart our development journey, we should quickly embrace development planning, the inevitable map to guide us in finding our way in this journey into the unknown...” (http://www.punchng.com/business/global-finance/repositioning-nigerian-economy-for-growth-1/)

I share the same view regarding the main message of Odilim’s article, however, I object to his manner and context of framing the planning debate. I do not believe that everything neoliberal and development planning are mutually exclusive. Neoliberals, in my view, are not against developing countries planning for development but they might disagree with the policy content and direction of planning. The NEEDS plan of the OBJ era was a development plan, albeit rested on neoliberal ideology of free market economics. The plan cannot be said to be entirely comprehensive, but the mission here is not to critique the plan, yet, the crux of the matter is that NEEDS was development planning.

The IMF and World Bank rebranded SAP of the 1980’s into the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSPs- this strategy paper is a document required of developing countries to access its loans. However, PRSPs must be approved by the IMF before the World Bank can grant loans. In order words, PRSPs must conform to neoliberal economics before loans can be granted to countries in need. Production of PRSPs is development planning and NEEDS was Nigeria’s PRSP not to access loans but to be granted debt relief.

Our understanding of planning is critical here, because if we view planning only in the context of a comprehensive document with all the inputs and output completely disregarding market forces, then surely neoliberals are against this sort of planning. Framing of planning in the context of the old communist era, command and control regimental planning versus modern capitalism can also be dangerous because ideologically committed people might eventually remove the head as a remedy for the headache. Extremism exists on both sides of the ideological debate and this is not the time for Nigerian intellectuals to engage in sterile debates of market forces versus state led economy and the likes. What is important is to look more inwards and determine what works for us and what does not.

I very much agree with Odilim on the need to seek creative means of development but I disagree with the view of abandoning western textbooks and everything neo-liberal. This is an extreme view and akin to throwing away the baby with the bathwater. I say this because parallels can be drawn with what extreme neoliberal ideology (market fundamentalism) did to Africa in the 1980s when almost everything not neoliberal was thrown away e.g. state development banks were privatized, interest rate liberalized, import tariffs removed while exchange rates were liberalized at the same time. We all know the devastating results of which many countries have not recovered from. What I am saying is caution is called for in planning while common sense and local context should prevail over ideology inclinations. The statement of Deng Xiaoping that; “it does not matter if a cat is black or white, as long as it catches the mice”, reflects our argument herein.

I actually do disagree with most neoliberal policies. However, policy such as a slim, efficient and more productive public service, although typically associated with neo-liberalism and proponents of new public management, is begging for implementation in Nigeria. According to Sanusi Lamido, 70 per cent of federal government revenue is spent on the civil service and political appointees. This situation, unless reversed, can never lead Nigeria to economic prosperity no matter the extent of development planning. I do not also believe that abandoning western economic textbooks because they were created to inherently favor the west is the way to go. There is no convergence of opinion in the western house of economics about the right economic development plan or even economic theory itself. If not, why do we have divergent views between Keynesians and neoclassical/neoliberal economists especially on macroeconomics? For example, Shaw and Mackinnon’s hypothesis on the relationship between savings, interest rate and investments totally contradicts Keynes’s theory on investments, savings and interest rates. What should be done is picking what suits us, leaving what does not, and creating new ideas or theories where applicable.

China is a good example of development under a developmental state model. But, China’s political economy is very much different to ours. It is interesting to note that almost all of the successful East Asian economies which utilized a developmental state model of development had outright dictators, pseudo- democracy or one party state. South Korea developed under a general, Malaysia under Mahathir who governed for about 20 years, Lee Kwan Yew of Singapore, and China’s communist party are few examples. Newer success stories like Brazil under the Lula Da-Silva implemented mixture of policies which suited Brazil’s political economy which included neoliberal policies as well as welfarist policies such as conditional transfers.

That Nigeria needs a new concrete, comprehensive and implementable plan is not in doubt. However, this document must fit our political economy and not just a document which is academically sound. Technocrats can develop a ring tight document, fantastic on paper, but it is politicians that come and go, it is politicians that are accountable to the people, and it is them that have to seek elections. It is not news that politicians will mainly implement projects which they can complete during their tenure and claim the glory, even if this project might not have any meaningful impact on the long term development of such domains.

This issue brings me to the political economy of Nigeria. The undue emphasis and importance given to technocrats who sometimes are detached from reality, in formulating development and economic policies often lead to policies which are not implementable. For example, the ‘failure’ of vision 20:2020 is not surprising as it identified a major problem in Nigeria’s quest for development without proffering a practical solution to it. It says that; “Amongst a host of debilitating impediments to Nigeria’s growth and competitiveness, one issue rests at the very root: a resource exploitation, allocation and consumption pattern that is unsustainable…The most destructive effect of this dependence on hydrocarbons is the undermining of the social contract between the government and the people. With no less than 95% of Nigeria’s federating States depending on the centre for over 90% of government income, the incentives towards internally generating revenue from taxation of economic activity are extremely weak and a culture of “sharing the national cake” has become institutionalized.” (p. 44)

In simple words, the technocrats acknowledged that concentration of power at the center is a bottleneck to Nigeria’s development. It explicitly stated that;”To achieve Vision 20: 2020 aspirations, Nigeria will reverse the above situation. A mode of fiscal decentralization that rewards economic performance at the sub-national level will be diligently pursued, and a form of development that ensures the economic viability and prosperity of each geo-political region of Nigeria will be underpinning the thrusts of Vision 20: 2020”. (p.44)

These structural defects cannot be mended by unelected technocrats because these are core political issues that only constitutional changes can fix. For example, an issue like fiscal decentralization goes beyond revenue allocation formula, it extends to the centralized accounting purse at the centre. This centralization requirement is enshrined in the constitution. From this perspective, is it not safe to conclude that vision 20:2020 was bound to fail from the very start? This is because the structural solution was outside its purview but it did well by identifying the problem. Creating policies insulated from the political economy reality and expecting the right political equation to emerge from the blues is an exercise in futility. The critique of V20:2020 will be done in detail in subsequent articles, God willing.

In order to move Nigeria on the right development track, several political issues have to be resolved. Economics does not operate in a vacuum and as such the brightest economists or development technocrats will only achieve little in the current Nigerian makeup. The solution could either be a civilian dictatorship where a leader can swiftly amend constitutional defects which impede development by decrees, but a return to dictatorship does not sound attractive especially if one witnessed the era of military. The other option is the democratic option where a political party formulates a comprehensive development plan, win elections with enough margins in the 36 states of the federation and the national assembly to effect constitutional changes seamlessly. However, Nigeria will require a minimum of 10 continuous years of diligent implementation of a sound and feasible development plan and infrastructure provision before we can start competing for top 20 economies of the world. Thus, 2015 is crucial to our future.


Jamal Akinade is a chartered chemical engineer; he has an MSc in Development Planning and Administration from the University College London and an MPA in Public Policy from the University of Nottingham. He wrote in from the UK and can be reached at jayakinjay@gmail.com
http://saharareporters.com/article/v202020-and-future-development-planning-nigeria-1-jamal-akinade

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Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by smile4kenn(m): 12:00am On May 24, 2013
Nice
Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by braine(m): 12:03am On May 24, 2013
What a long post. Someone please summarize the thing. undecided

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Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by LagosBoi2(m): 12:04am On May 24, 2013
we are still trying to catch up with 2013 and you are talking 2020, man this is naija.

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Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by ogusbaba1(m): 12:11am On May 24, 2013
talk to u
Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by CROWE: 12:16am On May 24, 2013
Vision 2020 will not happen for the simple reason that Nigeria has major problems that need to be addressed.
Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by Jamesbrian: 12:24am On May 24, 2013
And u expect me to read all those things?

1 Like

Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by aminho(m): 12:26am On May 24, 2013
i will be proud to be called anigrian in the future
Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by dont8(m): 12:30am On May 24, 2013
What happened to Vision 2000 anyway

2 Likes

Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by Pricelesss(f): 12:46am On May 24, 2013
dont8: What happened to Vision 2000 anyway
It died with Nitel.. cry
Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by paulemi(m): 12:49am On May 24, 2013
aaawwww...*yawns*...Good work btw, only challenge is making sure there's even a Nigeria to talk and write about by 2020.
With all the wahala around town, 2020 looks like ages from now.
Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by tolex34(m): 12:56am On May 24, 2013
Reserving this space till year 2020 when things will be developed.





Till then no comment

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Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by blackmale(m): 1:03am On May 24, 2013
vision 2020 again.. hmmnn ''another jesus is coming stuff''
Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by Kairoseki77: 1:53am On May 24, 2013
Development planning in Nigeria...

[size=30pt]LWKMD![/size]

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Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by fitzmayowa: 2:02am On May 24, 2013
This space is not for sale...






TRESPASSERS or POSTERS will be SHOT, I repeat will be SHOT

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Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by sholay2011(m): 2:22am On May 24, 2013
smile4kenn: Nice
*Yimu* So, you read the whole article? grin

2 Likes

Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by Nobody: 3:35am On May 24, 2013
The author made an important point. How can a comprehensive development plan be implemented in Nigeria, when such implementation sometimes requires long-range planning for projects that will not yield immediate results?

Structural changes like civil service reform, education reform and the stoppage of "oyel" money sharing from Abuja are HIGHLY UNLIKELY under the present state of affairs (desirable and necessary they might be) simply because they are too painful and difficult, and also because such changes won't bear fruits immediately and as such won't deliver electoral value.

Only committed, passionate leaders who care more about leaving an enduring legacy than winning elections can implement a true development plan. Unfortunately Nigeria doesn't have enough of them.

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Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by babaowo: 4:03am On May 24, 2013
vission 2020? time will tell....
Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by Kairoseki77: 4:12am On May 24, 2013
Nigeria will only develop when the oil runs out, or oil itself becomes worthless.

Until then, we will be slaves to the ogas at the top, because they don't have to interact with us at all to get their hands on money.

In a country like Ghana, they had to WORK to make money.
Ghanian politicians are forced to interact with the people, because the government's money comes from taxes on the citizens.
The citizens hold the government responsible, because it is THEIR MONEY that the politicians are playing with.

In Naija, the government gets money from oil companies, steals the money from oil companies, and then dashes the citizens with a "people's square", a "trip to Mecca", or some other BS, just to keep us quiet.

Naija politicians don't need us....and since they don't tax us...we don't hold them responsible for their actions.

Until this changes, this country will never move forward.

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Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by lordimpaq(m): 5:33am On May 24, 2013
CROWÉ: Vision 2020 will not happen for the simple reason that Nigeria has major problems that need to be addressed.

I believe the major problem is us as Nigerians failing to live as ONE.

The sooner we realize that we are all the same the better for us...that is why each individual in Nigeria are trying to accumulate more wealth than the other and this mentality has filtered down to marrow even in 5 year olds.
Eventually, it leads to selfishness, then it breeds greed which now materializes into corruption. If we learn to be selfless, all of us, Nigeria would be the best place ever.

2 Likes

Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by CROWE: 5:43am On May 24, 2013
lordimpaq:

I believe the major problem is us as Nigerians failing to live as ONE.

The sooner we realize that we are all the same the better for us...that is why each individual in Nigeria are trying to accumulate more wealth than the other and this mentality has filtered down to marrow even in 5 year olds.
Eventually, it leads to selfishness, then it breeds greed which now materializes into corruption. If we learn to be selfless, all of us, Nigeria would be the best place ever.


That is not something that can happen, people don't just forget their differences or change their attitudes.

1 Like

Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by lordimpaq(m): 5:51am On May 24, 2013
CROWÉ:

That is not something that can happen, people don't just forget their differences or change their attitudes.

Yes I know, its a gradual process, the first stage is to acknowledge it. Its a systemic thing but it can actually happen, maybe not in our lifetime but it will eventually happen.

maybe it would take something catastrophic to change our mindsets, I actually pray for something of that nature to happen.
Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by browncool(m): 6:14am On May 24, 2013
fitzmayowa: This space is not for sale...






TRESPASSERS or POSTERS will be SHOT, I repeat will be SHOT

2 Likes

Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by Kings77: 6:15am On May 24, 2013
This Post has been 'eating'.
Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by ifyn4real(m): 7:14am On May 24, 2013
from vision 1990 to vision 2000 to 2020 the next will be 2050 hmmmm we shall see
lipsrsealed
just imagine if our colonial master discovered crude oil, nigeria would have been be best natoin in the world, british discovered diamond in southafrica, today Sa is like london you need to visit cape town, port elizerbeth, soweto and see what am saying, one rand is equvilent to 7 doller, and one rand is 20 naira, as my captain always say you country suppose to be the best and most beautiful country in the world lipsrsealed

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Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by Nobody: 7:17am On May 24, 2013
Vision 2000==> Vision 2020 ==> Vision 30-Never

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Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by condralbede(m): 7:46am On May 24, 2013
whoever that's forcasting this vision is a liar,cos none of the vision this and that has ever come to pass.so abeg carry ur vision go meet wale adenuga make them act am for super story,e go make brain pass.

2 Likes

Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by Nobody: 7:54am On May 24, 2013
our leaders get vision? undecided
they just AV a mission, and we all know it.
what happened to vision 2010? undecided

3 Likes

Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by Nobody: 8:11am On May 24, 2013
Like i always tell people, Nigeria can't be reformed overnight or within 4-8 years. However we could set motion to actualise such reformation. Seriously as a nation our major virus are corruption, tribalism, nepotism, TOO MUCH DEPENDANCE on oil money and also our greed. If we can control them, we'd move towards economic prosperity. While i comment Jonathan's developmental or reformation agenda, i must say that the agenda will be meaningless if he doesn't fight corruption irrespective of the personality of the person.Ex President, Ex Governors, Senators, Governors etc. After dealing with corruption, then we can face nepotism. God bless you all my fellow patriots

1 Like

Re: Vision 2020 And Development Planning In Nigeria. by fankasibe: 8:43am On May 24, 2013
smile4kenn: Nice
i fit swear wit my life sey u no read d post just like many others.

1 Like

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