Importance of Developmental Planning in Nigeria

Importance of Developmental Planning in Nigeria

Development is a gradual and progressive change or growth from one level to another with space for further growth. Naturally, Development shows growth thereby making things easy and quick in life.  It also improves living standards which directly improves the quality of life.

Importance of Developmental Planning in Nigeria

Development Planning is a strategic and systematic plan drill intentionally installed to achieve the developmental goals of society.

Nigeria as a country has had a measurable long experience in development planning starting from the Colonial Development Plan of 1958-68. Then, major strategic initiatives like Structural Adjustment Programme; the National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy; the Strategy for Attaining the Millennium Development Goals; and the 7-Point Agenda – were not seen as major development plans.

Nigeria, just like every other country has loads of multifarious national development plans in order to catalyse the search for economic growth and development. This article will review some of the different forms of developmental planning in Nigeria and their importance.


Planning can be classified based on two ways:

  • Focus: It has to do with the specific goal of an organisation in a given period of time.
  • Frame: This is like a pictural artwork of a company; this plan mirrors the long-term goal of a company.


  • Long-term plan: This is simply known as a perspective plan. This plan requires patience which could approximately take 10-20 years depending on the plan.
  • Medium-term plan: Just like the name implies, this goes a little beyond the line and it could take two or three years.
  • Regional plan: This is the type of plan that places its emphasis and spotlight on the specific regions of a particular country, in this case- Nigeria.
  • Sectoral plan: Here, the focus shifts to the relationship and needs of different sectors of the economy.
  • National plan: This focuses on all geopolitical units in Nigeria.
  • Indicative planning: This plan depends on the extent of some market forces to allocate resources. Unlike other plans, the government here only provides rules, ceilings, rates, guidelines, and penalties for non-compliance.
  • Comprehensive planning: This plan is comprehensive. It touches all aspects of the economy, small and big enterprises, domestic and foreign trade, prices and output decisions of firms, wages, production targets, and inter-relationship between sectors.

 Advantages of Planning

  • It helps shift off the waste in the utilization of scarce societal resources with the help of coordination and rational allocation to all sectors of the economy.
  • It helps emphasises the developmental goals of a society and helps equal resources to the most desperate sectors.
  • It helps minimise the inadequacies of market forces or private sector in the provision of certain essential goods and services.
  • It checks and balances the nation’s economy by ensuring that the nation is not living beyond what it generates.

Issues Related To Development Planning in Nigeria

Development planning is essential but there are factors that hinder its progress:

Unavailability and poor quality of data

  • Political unrest and incompetent leadership
  • Lack of discipline, commitment, and capacity to implement what is in the plan.
  • Lack of financial empowerment and availability from both internal and external sources.
  • The negative impact of corruption.
  • Incompetence and unprofessional administrative staff, professional and managerial skills.

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