Federal Legislators to Empower Vision 2020

jonathanA draft bill seeking to make all tiers of government to comply with the Nigeria’s Vision 2020 economic development blueprint will soon be on its way to National Assembly for consideration and passage in to law.

By the provision of the proposed bill, Minister for national planning would have to verify and endorse all development programmes and plans of all tiers of government to ensure that they are not in conflict with the provisions of the vision before they can be implemented.

According to the Minister/Deputy Chairman National Planning Commission Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, the idea of the bill to provide legislative backing became necessary due to the past experiences of failure to achieve various development plans by government and in order to ensure consistency by the incoming governments in the implementation of the Vision policy across the three levels of government.

The draft bill which has already been endorsed by the Federal Executive Council has also tied future development plans of government to the vision’s strategic objectives and the national planning minister is vested with the power to review what he thinks is not in line with that provision.

Among other proposals in the draft bill is a provision for each tier of government to develop short and medium term development strategy in line with the objectives of the vision after the Act is enacted. There is also a penalty in form of withholding of federal allocations and fines for any non compliant government authority.

Section 8 sub (1 to 3) of the Act captures the essence as follows: i) Every development plan initiated by the government shall be in full compliance with the goals and targets set forth in the Vision 20:2020 document set out in the First Schedule to this Act or any national development programmes established by law. ii) The development plan shall be submitted to the minister of planning (in this Act referred to “the minister”) who shall verify its compliance with the vision 2020 objectives. iii) No government shall adopt a development plan unless the minister has issued it with a certificate of compliance to the Vision 20:2020 objectives.”

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