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Infrastructure bane of underdevelopment, says Minister

By George Onah
Port Harcourt—The Minister of National Planning Commission, Dr. Shamsudden Usman, has blamed the problems of the nation’s development on inadequacy of critical infrastructure and high level of youth and graduate unemployment.

He said a“draft legislation is ready” to compel both Federal and State Governments  to ensure consistency in implementation of plans by different governments for successful implementation of sectoral policies.

Usman, who said some of such failed infrastructure were power and ill maintained roads, noted that, “weak research for development and innovation as well as subsistence agriculture” equally contribute to the major challenges of Nigeria’s growth.

Speaking yesterday at the validation workshop of the first implementation plan of Nigeria Vision 20:2020 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the Minister faulted “the minimal contribution of the manufacturing sector to employment” which he said was hampering the speedy development of the country.

He said the country’s dependence on the oil sector should be de-emphasised because “the fiscal sector continues to be constrained by dominance of the oil revenue.”  On his part, the Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, said Nigerians were tired of the many national plans being put in place by various governments because of the unreliable nature of the plans, which he said had never come to fruition.

Amaechi recalled such plans as “operation feed the nation”, food for all in year 2000, health for all in year 2000, houses for all in year 2000, vision 2010 and now vision 20: 2020”, adding  that plans were important because there was the “need to ask the question of where does Nigeria go from here.”


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