AN ASSESSMENT OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES AND PROGRAMMES ON ECONOMIC GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

The purpose of the paper is to review the main economic goals of the current government, examine the implementation of policies and programmes and broadly assess their effectiveness. The economic strategies and goals of the government can be gleaned from the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020, annual budgets, the Medium Term Economic Framework, Fiscal Strategy Papers and the stated monetary policy objectives of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). It should be noted that the ERGP was developed in 2017, after the two annual budgets of 2016 and 2017.

However, the processes of consultations were such that the priorities of the budgets fed into the ERGP and the ERGP in turn informed the subsequent budgets and strategy documents of the government. Hence, there is no sequential syllogism or absurdity in assessing the policy and programme performance of the government in 2016 and 2017, based on the objectives of the ERGP, even though the document itself had not been published.
Since there are many dimensions to the policies, the scope of the paper will selectively focus on the different dimensions of fiscal policy, monetary policy, as well as some specific key programmes such as the National Social Investment Policy (NSIP) and the many quasi-fiscal interventions implemented by the CBN.

Broadly speaking, the effects of policies on growth, diversification, employment generation, monetary and financial stability will be
discussed. Some of the strategic developments in the global economic scene have not been brought into the discussion. Much of the data that can be used as evidence for the effectiveness of the policies will be for the limited period, 2016-2018, but even then there are many gaps in the data. In particular, some of the information on revenue and expenditure, may be regarded as fairly tentative, since different sources can provide different figures due to differences in definition and conceptualisation. It is obvious that, in many cases, impact cannot be judged within this short time period, but only tentative trends may be discerned. It is hoped that the discussions can provoke much more rigorous introspection and evaluation, which can then encourage changes in design, approach, style, or even conception, as needed.

The paper discusses the background and context, before analysing the vision and objectives of the ERGP, and then the fiscal policy objectives and targets of the government. This is followed by a review of monetary policy and intervention programmes. The effectiveness of the fiscal policies is then assessed, including the social investment programmes and the Ease of Doing Business. The effect of monetary policy implementation is then reviewed, after which the dynamics of the employment situation is discussed. A brief summary and conclusion are used to draw out the reports main recommendations.

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