A HISTORICAL ANALYSIS OF NATIONAL ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY (NEEDS) AND HER CONTRIBUTION TO POVERTY ALLEVIATION IN NIGERIA
National Economic Empowerment Development strategy (NEEDS) is described as a Nigeria’s plan for prosperity, popularly Christened a “Home grownprogramme” by the formal president of Nigeria Chief Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo, it is a four years medium term plan for the period of 2003 to 2007.1 NEEDS is
a Federal Government plan, which also expects the state and local governments to have their counterpart plan i.e State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (SEEDS) and the Local Government Empowerment & Development Strategy (LEED) respectively. Since according Nwachuku development planning must be controlled and directed toward the desire goals.2 It is imperative for the federal government to include not all levels of government towards moving the same direction but sick all and sundry namely: the private sector, the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the general public in cooperative activities in pursuit of developmental goals,.
However, like the previous development planning especially from the first attempt in 1946 and in the opinion of scholars like Rodney Obikeze and Obi,3 NEEDS as a plan contains all the envisaged policies and programme of the federal government. It is not only a macro-economic plan document, but also a
comprehensive vision, goals and principles of a “New Nigeria” through re-enacting core Nigeria value like respect for the elders, honesty, accountability, corporation, industry, discipline, self confidence and moral courage. As established NEEDs document, “NEED” significantly want to eradicate poverty and
promote self-reliance, entrepreneurship innovation, and rewards hard work. As rightly observed by the National Planning Commission and Central Bank of Nigeria 4 Thus, development plans is not understood in terms of economic development alone and so to scholars like Todaro and Rodney 5 it is multi dimensional.
1.2 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
Evaluating the present Government policy via its achievement of ‘NEEDs’ core objective seem to portrait the government no dierent from the .previous ones in ways and manner of pursuing and realizing the ideals of her development plan. However, this research work is designed to understand the imperative path
to be followed by the federal government at achieving desired goals, and dissert the way it does things.
Osagie, however laments on this approach to economic analysis when he writes that:- “Ideological confusion and mystification encouraged by naïve ideologies have successfully diverted attention from real issues to peripheral and esoteric clickridden polemics along narrowly focused dogmatic lines. This attitude to analysis of economic phenomena in Nigeria tends to produce simplistic solutions to problem which give the impression that either economist are unrealistic in their analysis.”6 Thus, the objective of this research work is to awaken the government of its weaknesses, because it is evident that the government has not achieved much of the professed objectives of NEEDs which are: employment generation, poverty reduction, wealth creation and value reorientation, in any significant measure in the medium term, if any thing, the impact has not been evident on the general well being of Nigerian.
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