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NESG seeks new approach to address economic challenges

NESG seeks new approach to address economic challenges

Ahead of the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES), the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has emphasised the need for a new approach to addressing the various economic headwinds afflicting the nation.

The Chief Executive Officer of NESG, Laoye Jaiyeola, while speaking at the inauguration of the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) for the NES#29 in Abuja, said that there was a need to confront the harsh realities that Nigeria currently faces.

He noted that various projections, which indicate a pessimistic economic outlook for Nigeria from 2023 to 2025, with expectations of moderate economic growth, are insufficient to tackle issues effectively, such as unemployment, poverty, and other socio-economic challenges the country faces.

“Throughout its three-decade existence, the NES has garnered praise from national and international policymakers and business leaders, solidifying its status as the primary avenue for facilitating constructive public-private dialogues within Nigeria.

“However, as we acknowledge these advancements, we must also confront the harsh realities that our nation currently faces. Weak economic growth, high poverty rates, a rising cost of living, increasing unemployment, and widening income gaps continue to challenge us.

“These economic headwinds indicate that this is no time for a business-as-usual approach to economic governance,” he said.

According to Jaiyeola, the nation’s natural resources and population must be adequately utilised to realize shared prosperity in the nation.

He maintained that concerted efforts and strategic planning are required to harness these resources effectively, and also to maximize the nation’s competitive advantages and create opportunities for sustainable economic development.

“Nigeria has long been pursuing structural economic transformation. However, the nation’s heavy reliance on crude oil as its primary foreign exchange source has resulted in an unbalanced economy.

“The crude oil sector remains dominant despite contributing less than 10 per cent to the national output and generating limited employment opportunities,” he said.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Nebeolisa Anako, in his remarks, said that efforts have been concluded to forward the NES 28th recommendations and outcomes to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in the form of Council Note for their information and guidance.

He said the summit has continued to provide a veritable platform for dialogue among policymakers, corporate leaders, organized private sector, civil society organizations, as well as development partners.

“The key outcomes of the annual Summits have always played important roles in shaping the policies of the Government. In particular, the Summit had in the past contributed to entrenching the culture of development planning in the country.

“Most recently, the partnership helped in no small measure in the development of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-2025 and the Nigeria Agenda 2050. The contributions of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group in this regard are well appreciated. I am confident that this partnership will continue to endure going forward,” the Permanent Secretary said.

Ijeoma Taylaur, Co-Chair, JPC, said the conference, which is scheduled to hold in Abuja on the 23rd and 24th of October 2023, will focus on enhancing the economic agenda setting of the government.


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