THE IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT PLANS IN NIGERIA PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

THE IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENT PLANS IN NIGERIA PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

BY

EGHUBARE JOHN AKPEVWE


Introduction
It will be okay for us to note the socio-economic development of any society is conspicuously linked to development planning embarked upon by the government. This situation is peculiar to all 
                                          EGHUBARE JOHN AKPEVWE

Developed societies and underdeveloped society to which Nigeria belongs. Nations all over the world fall into 2 divisions, developed and underdeveloped societies.
It will be reasonable to say here that, through a national comprehensive plan, it will be possible to make rational decisions to achieve deliberate, consistent and well-balanced action towards socio-economic development and good governance.
Ikeanyibe (2009) describes development planning as a necessary tool used by many governments and organizations to set their visions, missions, goals, and effective means of realizing development through effective direction and control.
Since independence, Nigeria has over the years embarked on various national and rolling development plans. In place, have been four national development plans and rolling plans including development policies
·        such as Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP)
·        Vision 2010, National Economic Empowerment Development Strategies (NEEDS)
·        Currently Vision 2020
·        The 6,3,3,4 system of Education
These programmes were all initiated to facilitate economic, social, political and technological growth all geared towards improving the living conditions of Nigerians.
In spite of the nobility of these plans, they have significantly failed to achieve desired results as poverty remains pervasive, social infrastructure in a mess, health care still poor and power erratic as ever. Basically, these problems are typical of socio-economic indices in Nigeria.
FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FAILURE OF THESE PLANS TO YIELD DESIRED RESULTS CAN BE TRACED TO;
·        poor planning and monitoring of programmes,
·        inadequate funding,
·        corruption,
·        poor accountability etc.
These challenges are ubiquitous as far as development plans are concerned and they constitute the challenges NV 20:2020 is bound to face. This write up will therefore, critically examine past developmental plans and the reasons for their failure.
IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF DEVELOPMENT PLANS IN
NIGERIA SINCE 1960
I shall examine the impact of the national development plans from the socio-economic, political, infrastructure and technological perspective of the country.
 .1 Infrastructure Development
According to Ajalenkoko (2008) the term "infrastructure development" has assumed a central importance in our fight to attain social and economic stability. The value of infrastructure cannot be underplayed. The World Bank estimates that every 1 per cent spent on infrastructure leads to an equivalent 1 per cent increase in Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which invariably means that there is a correlation between any meaningful inputs in infrastructure development which reflects on economic growth, indices. Within the first two years after independence in 1960 made great strides and achievements in every aspect of our national life.
But currently the Nigerian public utility and infrastructure services are remarkably weak for a country which is the world’s sixth largest oil exporter. King (2003: 8, 9) further points that Nigeria’s public electrical generating capacity is less than that of Bosnia, an underdeveloped Balkan country with approximately one twenty-fifth Nigeria’s population. Eighty percent of rural households in Nigeria lack an electrical connection, and one-half do not even have running water. Power outages are an everyday occurrence throughout the country, and as a result all significant businesses must purchase backup generators.
The transport infrastructure is extremely poor. The rail system, once good, now barely operates, so that almost all commercial freight must be moved by roads. Nigeria is well-known for expending large sums on infrastructure projects, only to fail to allocate recurring funds for their maintenance. (This is symptomatic of public procurement systems dominated by front-end rent-seeking.) As a result, road quality is poor and inordinate maintenance expenses are transferred to the private sector, in the form of repair costs for road-damaged vehicles. The same goes for waterways, a key transportation mode in the Niger delta. Lagos road traffic congestion is legendary.
.2 Socio-economic Development
Bayo (2000) and Evbuomwan (1996) observed that in the 60s, Nigeria depended on agriculture for her revenue, which in turn, was used to provide life sustaining goods for the citizen. The discovery of petroleum by Nigeria marked the turning point of Nigeria and by the turn of 1970, agriculture has been pushed to a distant background.
The bulk of the revenue of Nigeria now comes from petroleum. Since then, Nigeria has depended heavily on crude oil and this causes instability in the economy due to fluctuation in the price of crude oil in the world market.        Socio-economic indices are such that poverty and unemployment is pervasive. Social infrastructure generally is poor, especially power, which is unstable affecting; production level, employment generation, lowering investment level, income etc. These days importation is generally high as almost all commodities are imported by Nigerians with little exportation considered. GDP and per capita ratios are low and the standard of living worse than can ever be imagined.
.3 Political Development
The Nigerian polity is one that has been plagued by inconsistent and bad leadership. The political structure in Nigeria had been a tussle for power between civilians and the military. The military held sway for over 25 years before power
was finally transferred to the democratically elected government of Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. A dream Nigerians had clamoured for all their lives. The democratic process in Nigeria has been quite pathetic as the government and its cohorts in the corridors of power have being indifferent towards the plight of the masses taking for granted social provisioning. But rather, they have been greatly concerned with carting away public monies in Ghana-must-go bags, stealing election boxes, rigging, fuelling political crises and indulging in all sorts of unpatriotic ventures. In Nigeria today, entering political office is based on ‘cash and carry’ and little attention is paid to the electorates who are consistently denied the right to vote by ‘political hooligans’ who disguise themselves as politicians.

.4 Technological Development
Technology in recent times, most especially the 21 st century has become a major feature in the discourse of societal development. It is a tool for accelerating development objectives as it involves critical and cautious planning through the use of sophisticated inputs. The high concentration of technology by developed societies has been greatly instrumental to the development of these societies. The application of technology explains the sophistication of their economic indices. Developing nations all over the world today including Nigeria are now alive to the relevance of technology to societal development. But in spite of this, the level of technology so far achieved is still poor to improve the nation’s state of development.

FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FAILURE OF THESE PLANS TO YIELD DESIRED RESULTS CAN BE TRACED TO;
·        poor planning and monitoring of programmes,
·        inadequate funding,
·        corruption,
·        poor accountability etc.

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Considering the plethora of socio-economic Nigeria is faced with successive governments have made attempts to address these Undying problems through the perpetual establishment of development plans. Most of these plans to say the least have been considered laudable and purposeful. But their wholesomeness has failed to take away the nightmarish conditions inherent in the society today. This situation as emphasized by Arizona-Ogwu can be attributed to deficiency of scope, poor implementation, budgetary indiscipline and general corruption. These factors are the major constraints that killed off the good intentions of development plans in the past and it is the challenges government policies, programmes and projects are faced with and the present Vision 2020 is not going to be any different. For it to succeed it will have to overcome these challenges.



                                                          References
All Academic Research, the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS):
A Critical Appraisal of Nigeria’s Strategy for Poverty Reduction.
Arizona-Ogwu, L.C. (2008) 48 Years of Nigeria’s Underdevelopment: A Fruit of Failed and Recycled Policy, Nigerians in America, published on the 27 th of September, 2008. file
Baje, A.O., Appraising Nigeria’s Economic Reforms, Daily Times newspaper, August, 30 th , 2003.
Eberinwa, O.M. (2005) Dynamics of Development Administration: Issues in Nigeria, Onitsha: Abbot Books Ltd.
Igbuzor, O. (2010) Nigeria Vision 20: 2020- Progress, Challenges and the Way Forward, Abuja: African Centre for Leadership, Strategy and Development.
Ikeanyibe, O.M. (2009) Development Planning in Nigeria: Reflection on the National Economic Empowerment
Development Strategies (NEEDS) 2003-2007, Journal of social Science, 20 (3): 197-210. King, D.T. (2003) USAID/Nigeria Economic Growth
Activities Assessment, Transition Summary Report, sOmoh, G. and Umoru, H., Economic Summit Sets $900bn
                                                                                                                                                                                        


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