A development plan is a written declaration with accompanying maps that outlines the council’s overall strategy for the appropriate planning and sustainable development of a region. The plan often includes the council’s overarching goals for particular issues such as housing, infrastructure, and community facilities. These goals are supported by more specific policies and objectives.
Planning for national development is centered on maximizing a nation’s potential across all economic sectors to promote equitable, sustainable, and long-term growth. Regional development, social development, human capital development, public administration, infrastructure, and economic growth and development are all impacted by the importance of development planning in Nigeria. The significance of development planning in Nigeria will be emphasized in this piece.
Things a development plan should contain
A development plan typically consists of five elements and is strongly related to a performance monitoring method.
Why development planning is important in Nigeria
1. A Successful Response to Macroeconomic Difficulties
Planning for future development is a practical answer to the macroeconomic difficulties in Nigeria. Two development plans, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and the Economic Sustainable Plan (ESP), have recently been put into action to address the country’s major macroeconomic problems. Following the economic recession experienced in the final phase of the Vision 20:2020 Economic Transformation Blueprint, the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) was created to restore economic growth in Nigeria.
Through concentric economic diversification, investments in social inclusion, job creation, and youth empowerment, as well as investments in infrastructure and the business environment, the ERGP’s development planning policies are intended to revive economic growth. Even though the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the crude oil market and foreign exchange profits, which caused the growth performance to fall short of the ERGP’s target, the development plan nonetheless had significant positive trends for most of the time it was in existence.
The Economic Sustainable Plan (ESP) was a strong and well-articulated development strategy designed to revive the Nigerian economy. The Economic Sustainable Plan, which is a transition plan between the ERGP and the National Development Plan, averted a potentially severe recession and sped up the economy’s speedy recovery with N2.3 trillion set aside for the ESP.
2. Promoting Industrial Development
Up until 1980, the economic policies of emerging nations, particularly Nigeria, emphasized the need for planning and government participation in the economic growth process. First off, economists and planners realized that increasing the rate of saving and investment was crucial to accelerating economic and industrial growth.
It was believed that the private sector could not, on its own, achieve the greater rates of investment and saving needed to end the cycle of poverty. In order to enhance the rate of saving and investment, the state has to step in and raise resources through its fiscal and monetary policies. As a result, public sector expansion and planning have become crucial to boosting economic growth.
3. Contribution to gender equity for women
Girls and women make up nearly half of the population of Nigeria. Sadly, only 10% of all resources in Nigeria are owned by women. The maternal mortality rate in Nigeria has increased to 917 per 100,000, one of the highest rates in the country. Patriarchal standards, the underrepresentation of women in politics, and the high rate of child marriage are a few of the barriers to women’s full economic engagement in Nigeria.
The National Development Plan, 2021–2025, has been put in place to accomplish these goals, which include inclusive growth, increased gender parity, and a decrease in gender-based violence in Nigeria. N108 billion has been set aside for the four years that the National Development Plan will be in effect to support the economic empowerment of women; track gender-related data; put gender-based violence prevention policies into place; assist victims of gender-based violence, and make it easier to mainstream gender issues into existing policies. These practical initiatives for women will support the competitiveness and economic growth of the nation, encourage greater female engagement, and boost employment and economic growth.
4. Fosters a robust national identification management system and sustainable population management
With a growth rate of 2.6 and a current population of over 200 million, it is anticipated to reach 400 million by 2050. The rapidly expanding population of Nigeria has put a strain on its resources and jeopardizes the achievement of the long-awaited demographic dividend. Additionally, a sizable portion of the populace—roughly 100 million people—does not own legal national IDs. In addition to the population boom, there are more people moving from rural to urban areas. It would be challenging for the nation to slow population growth, stop rural-urban migration, and fill the data vacuum needed for inclusive national development planning without sufficient development planning focused on sustainable population management and a strong national ID management system.
In order to achieve this, the government has outlined policies to control population growth, carry out reliable population counts, decrease rural-urban movement, and make sure that both citizens and immigrants have national identities and unique IDs, respectively.
The National Development Plan uses tactics like improving access to and awareness of family planning, bolstering the ID management systems currently in place, and introducing measures to reduce rural-urban migration by creating economic opportunities in rural areas as well as infrastructural improvements in urban centers.
5. Poverty Reduction and social protections
Many of Nigeria’s development plans have placed a focus on reducing poverty, and the government has implemented a number of social programs that provide resources to help the nation’s most vulnerable citizens. The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), which launched the Social Protection Policy framework, the National Social Safety Net Program (NSSNP), the National Conditional Cash Transfer Program, the National Social Investment Program (NSIP), and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Program (GEEP), all of which were targeted at Nigerians living in the most precarious circumstances, had previously created initiatives to create jobs.
Despite their good intentions, these programs didn’t considerably lower the poverty rate since they weren’t supported by strong safety nets. The National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy, 2021, was developed as a result of this. The National Development Plan currently builds on the current social protection framework in accordance with the National Poverty Reduction with Growth Strategy.
From 2021 to 2025, a Social Investment Fund of N5.4 trillion will be distributed across numerous ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) in Nigeria with the goal of ensuring that the most vulnerable members of society are empowered and share in the prosperity of the nation through clearly defined strategies.
6. Employement and Job Creation
Nigeria is struggling with severe unemployment and underemployment, which weakens the nation’s ability to produce new wealth and alleviate poverty. Over the years, a number of development programs have placed a significant emphasis on job creation. To address the rising number of unemployed and underemployed Nigerians, the National Development Plan now places a strong emphasis on job creation and employment.
The NDP aims to achieve this through a variety of strategies, including but not limited to building intersectoral connections to unleash the potential of high-growth industries that have the potential to generate millions of jobs; getting rid of practices that endanger the ability to generate income through respectable work; promoting technical education and training (TVET); and encouraging MSMEs’ business viability to promote job creation.
7. Fostering agricultural expansion
While emerging nations (including Nigeria) prioritized rapid industrialization to bring about structural transformation of their economies, agriculture was not completely neglected. In contrast to communist countries in the 1950s, the development of agriculture was left to the private sector. Land reforms, however, were implemented in Nigeria to safeguard tenants against eviction and set fair rents that landlords might demand from them.
Nigeria made attempts to redistribute land after setting caps on land holdings. However, the fast expansion of agriculture itself necessitates extensive government planning and intervention. The construction of infrastructures, such as irrigation, power, and roads, as well as the provision of sufficient financing to farmers, was necessary where planning and the state could play a significant role.
Given the limited resources available, development planning entails creating well-thought-out plans that prioritize and synchronize activities. Any national development plan’s goal should therefore be to better utilize the resources at hand in order to realize specific objectives.
Governments have a significant role in achieving economic growth and development, and it is required of them to deliver regular, substantive plans that will enhance the general welfare of society in a variety of ways, including politically, socially, and economically. Like many other nations, Nigeria has produced various heads of state who have developed a wide range of national development plans in an effort to promote economic growth and development.
- John Aina Ajibola has a Masters degree as an engineer and has over 3 years of teaching and research experience. He is happiest when on a bike and is also interested in electric energy and computer Science.