Policy Imperatives for Nigeria’s Medium and Long-Term National Development Plan 2022 – 2050
With its diverse and growing economy, Nigeria, which is often referred to as the giant of Africa, continues to be ranked amongst countries with the lowest economic competitiveness in view of her weak systems – political, legal, regulatory frameworks, transport, education, health, and infrastructure – coupled with growing ethnic intolerance, religious crises, insurgency, banditry, criminalities, and an overall corrupt ecosystem, thus creating a complex landscape for Nigeria’s decades of underdevelopment.
In recent years, Nigeria has seen governments taking decisions aimed at achieving economic recovery and growth through policies and incentives to ease doing business, investments in formal and informal sectors, export and import activities, boosting of agricultural programmes, and job creation – all laying a foundation for sustainable growth. The government’s long-term economic plan (Vision 20.20.20) has shaped the economy through a period of abundance, with the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) protecting it during the nation’s period of uncertainty while providing the foundations for recovery from the 2017/2018 economic recession.
The limited gains made as a result of several interventions of government to set Nigeria back on the path of national development and growth are at risk of being rolled back due to the ravaging coronavirus. The pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities, exposing vulnerabilities in social, political, and economic systems which are in turn amplifying the impacts of the pandemic. Across every sphere, from health to human rights, economy and security, the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are exacerbated for the 82.9 million Nigerians who are already poor with the number projected to increase as a result of an elongation of the pandemic era. However, the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) developed as a response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 proposes an ambitious strategy that can help safeguard the economy for the short-term effects of the pandemic, even as the country sets on its journey to recovery.