National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS)

National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) is a holistic reform agenda designed to lay a solid foundation for sustainable wealth creation, poverty reduction, employment generation and valued re-orientation.

National economic empowerment and development strategy is home grown reform programme, put together through extensive consultation with major stakeholders in both public and private sectors of the economy; stakeholders includes officials of the state, local government, members of the state house of assembly, civil society organization, traditional rulers and representatives of the business community; donor agencies like DFID, UNIDO, UNICEF, UNDP, USAID and WORLD BANK.

NEEDS lays out a programme of fiscal reform, transparency, countering corruption, investment in badly needed infrastructures, revival of agriculture, investment in health and opening opportunities for the private sectors. As these reform moved forward, the Nigeria government hopes that the international community will respond with significant reduction of Nigeria debt and increased foreign investment, especially in the non oil sector.

The NEEDS programme is brought forward to put Nigeria on the path towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). It will form the basis for all our future activities and provide a guiding framework for our domestic and international development partners.

NEEDS is a programme that put the people first and aimed at re-engineering a new society based on sound values from rent-seeking and corruption to entrepreneurship and public morality; from excessive dependence on revenue from oil and on government for patronage to a diversified, competitive, private sector led market economy.

NEEDS as a new reform agenda of the Obasanjo administration was designed to strengthen governance, security, transparency and fight against corruption; makes government more efficient and effective by embarking on fundamental public service reform as well as public expenditure/budget reform.

More fundamentally, NEEDS seeks to ensure competiveness and private sector development, through a number of reform, privatization and instituting appropriate regulatory agencies, deepening the capital market and providing long-term investment finance, infrastructural development especially on road and electricity.

The reform programme of NEEDS gives a high priority to food security, agriculture and small and medium enterprises as key to poverty reduction and employment generation measures.

The reform objective is also designed to develop a culture of responsible and patriotic citizenship.

The policy thrust of NEEDS on the financial sector is to build and foster a competitive and healthy financial system to support development and to avoid systemic stress.

The policy also advocates and addresses low capitalization, the poor governance practices of financial intermediaries that submit inaccurate information to the regulatory authorities.

The major facet of the NEEDS programme is to vigorously pursue to fruition, the privatization of NEPA, NITEL, NNPC and other malfunctioning public enterprises.

Streamline the civil service and judicial structures at both the federal and state levels.

Institute strict fiscal discipline and accountability, strengthen our democratic institutions and uphold the rule of law; seek to attain and surpass an annual growth target of 5% over the next 5 to 10 years.

Refrain from initiating unnecessary large-scale project and rather focus on improving the standard of existing ones and rehabilitate decaying social, scientific, educational and economic infrastructures, encourage the growth of non-oil export and aggressively support the emergence of small and medium enterprises (SMES) in private sector.

Tackles the looming HIV/AIDS epidemic and enact a universal healthcare policy, create policy incentives for entrepreneurs venturing into information technology business.

The national economic empowerment and development strategy (NEEDS) frown at obstacles that will make Nigerians stagnate in poverty.

NEEDS, for instance, proposes developing the industrial sector by relying more on local resources and less on imports.

Poverty manifested in Enugu State in 1999 in the form of lack of portable water, good road, employment, qualitative education, good food, housing, clothing, electricity, good medical care among others.

The Enugu State government tackled poverty issues in the state through her poverty reduction strategy program. It is of the basis above, that the researcher wishes to carry out a cursory analysis of the impact of NEEDS on the society.

Purpose of the Study

The major purpose of the study is to find out the extent to which NEEDS programme has improved the life of the Nigerian Citizens.

To know the extent the NEEDS programme has gone in reducing poverty in the country, and improving economic development in Nigeria with particular reference to Enugu State.

To achieve this, effort would be made;

To determine what NEEDS has done to enhance a more efficient and responsible public sector.

To determine the problem affecting the implementation of NEEDS/SEEDS programmes in Enugu State.

To determine some strategies for implementation of SEEDS in the state,

To determine how SEEDS can be used as a tool or instrument in improving education in Enugu State.

To determine whether there is problem hindering the implementation of SEEDS in Enugu State.

To determine the extent to which SEEDS has affected the transparency in the privatization process.

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