Prince Adetokunbo Kayode, President, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says Nigeria requires an ideal and active National Planning Ministry or Commission to monitor and evaluate policy implementation for economic development.
Kayode, who disclosed this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), in Abuja said as the country attained 60 years, it needed a well planned vision to articulate its policies in all sectors especially in industry and trade sector.
According to him, for the Ministry of National Planning or National Planning Commission to be focused, it must take its position in the presidency because the law establishing it places it in the presidency.
Kayode explained that the inability of government to implement some policies in the country was as a result of lack of clear vision and proper planning and regulatory framework.
The expert noted that the ministry of planning or commission should be allowed to discharge its mandate of planning, monitoring and evaluation to achieve good policy implementation.
“For the past 20 years we have not had any national planning in this country, even when we attained 30, Vision 2020 died the day it was launched for no reason.
“The ministry of national planning ideally should take ownership of all visions for national development that is why it is called ministry of national planning.
“But I challenge anybody who will tell me that that ministry is programmed to do that. Look at the structure of that ministry, the ministry is designed to plan the country.
“Under our laws there is nothing like ministry of national planning, what we have is national planning commission but it does not matter whether you call it ministry or commission but what is important is its mandate to plan the country effectively,” he said.
Kayode described the minister of national planning as the most important minister in the country that should be empowered to articulate the mandate of that ministry and motivate it to implement same.
“But in the past if people are posted to the ministry, they think it is a punishment. But if you are empowered to articulate the mandate of that ministry you will see that it is the most important,” he added.
He decried the poor perception of people about the ministry not knowing that it was the most important ministry or commission with the right to direct every other ministry on what to do and equally take ownership of the country’s vision and future.
He, however, said that national development was essentially government business but individuals in Organised Private Sectors (OPS) have role to play which was supplementary.
The ACCI president also noted that the inability to even implement some policies was also due to diverse reasons which may include lack of political will, resources and capacity.
“Even though Nigeria is not a rich country, the general consensus is that Nigeria is a potentially a rich country. We can galvanise our potential in the matter of policy and implementation.
“We can diversify resources base from a single commodity which we were not able to do for the past 40 years and because of that we cannot expand base and grow the economy. (NAN)