By Emma Okonji
The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, has assured Nigerians that the 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit, which opens today in Abuja, will address issues and generate debates targeted at revamping the Nigerian economy.
According to him, the summit would begin with presidential dialogue at the opening ceremony, followed by a roundtable with the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and would be attended by top industry players.
President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to declare NES#22 open and lead a presidential policy dialogue which will focus on key strategic elements required to drive global competitiveness and sustenance for Made-in-Nigeria products and services and strengthen Nigeria’s economy via plenary sessions, Osinbajo will lead the roundtable session on job creation, skills acquisition and development at the summit.
Other high level dignitaries expected at the summit include Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; MD/CEO, First Bank of Nigeria Limited and Subsidiaries, Dr. Adesola Adeduntan; MD, FBN Merchant Bank Limited, Kayode Akinkugbe, among others.
The summit is also a veritable platform that will facilitate stakeholders’ discussions/agreements on the practical issues, opportunities that abound, policies and regulations needed to make “Made In Nigeria” a success in the country.
The Nigerian Economic Summit with the theme ‘Made in Nigeria’, is in line with the Buhari administration’s commitment to diversify the productive base of the economy away from oil.
The summit, which is being organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) is targeted at unlocking the economic potentials of the non-oil and high-employment sectors, so as to achieve a sustainable inclusive growth that will ensure that the majority of Nigerians become more productive, thereby reducing poverty.
We are deliberately working towards diversifying the Nigerian economy by ensuring that non-oil sector drives the economy because this is the sector that contributes the most to GDP, and has more capacity to employ, Udoma said.
“The basic strategy is to reflate the economy through fiscal stimulus and strategic implementation of annual budgets. What this means is that we are geared to strategically spend our way out of recession. Unfortunately, we have not met all our planned expenditures for 2016 due to low revenue out-turns. However, we have ensured that the resources that we release are targeted at priorities that will stimulate activities in the economy,” Udoma added.
According to the organisers, the summit is designed to encourage more production and consumption of ‘Made -in-Nigeria Goods and Services.’
Past summits have made recommendations on self-sufficiency in local production and an export-driven economy. With our current economic realities, this is the perfect opportunities to articulate a national discussion on ‘Made-in -Nigeria’ to promote the goods and services that are already up to standards for consumption, encourage exports and increase opportunities for small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” the organisers said.
Director, NESG, Mrs. Wonu Adetayo, also assured Nigerians that the summit would implement resolutions that would be reached at the summit, for the good of the country.