By Peter Egwuatu
Former Military Head of State, General (Dr.)Yakubu Gowon, yesterday , blamed the federal government for theÂ infrastructural problems rocking the country saying Nigeria cannot achieve the desired economic growth and development without a well articulated national economic planning.
The Managing Director of the World Bank and former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, also yesterday lamented the fall in the standard of education which resulted in massive failure of students in the recently released NECO results, saying â€œ for Nigeria to be a part of the top 20 economies, it needs to think differently, take advantage of the financial crisis to reshape the economy, put in place new policies to transform and strengthen institutions to support multiple drivers of growth.â€
Speaking as chairman at the Directors Conference 2010, organized by the Institute of Directors (IOD) in LagosÂ yesterday, Gowon said there is need for the government to initiate at least a four year nationaleconomic development plan if it must address its infrastuctural problems.
According to him, â€œ As Head of Government from 1966-1975, I was involved in completing part of the first Republic Development Plan and fully planning two and completing one, the 1970-1975 Development Plan. The two I was fully involved in were the 2nd and 3rd National Development Plans,
1970-1975 and 1975-1980 respectively, both building upon the first Development Plan of the first Republic of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.â€
Continuing he said, â€œ The second Development Plan was a post civil war plan, more or less a recovery rehabilitation and reconstruction plan especially in the South Eastern part of the country-East of the Niger and South of the Benue. The experience gained from this second plan gave birth to a most ambitious plan, The Third National Development Plan that had the potential and possibility of laying the Foundation of Nigeriaâ€™s industrial take off .