Agba: 26th Economic Summit to Explore Partnership Amidst Covid-19 Impact

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Clem Agba

By James Emejo

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr. Clem Agba has said the 26th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit will focus on forging effective partnerships to build resilience for the economy amidst the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The summit is scheduled to hold between October 26 and 27, 2020, according to both the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) who are the organisers of the annual event.

Speaking at the formal virtual inauguration of the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) for the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#26), over the weekend, the minister said the event would explore emerging trends so that the country could capitalise on new opportunities and chart a path to sustainable growth.

He added that the summit would be unique due to the impact of the pandemic on the global economy.

The JPC joint which is responsible for the summit planning process is made up of members drawn from the public and private sectors.

The minister described this year’s submit theme: “Building Partnerships for Resilience” as apt in view of the current economic reality and the need to work towards averting an impending recession unless efforts are sustained in stimulating the economy.

He said the summit would provide a veritable platform for public and private sector stakeholders to reflect on the state of the Nigerian economy, rethink its economic fundamentals and deliberate on the impact of the global pandemic.

However, the committee will among other things make all arrangements for the successful hosting of NES#26, including the programme of events and timelines for the implementation of the key activities of the summit.

It will also mobilise relevant public and private sector stakeholders for the summit particularly at federal, state and local government levels as well as the private sector and other key stakeholders.

Agba stated that in order to deepen the success of this year’s summit, Director, Macroeconomic Analysis Department. Mr. David Adeosun would lead other public sector officials as co-chair while Managing Director/Chief Executive, Agon Continental Limited, Mr. Nnanna Ayim Ude will lead the private sector partners as co-chair.

He also said the 25th summit held in October last year had achieved some milestones adding that “if not for the pandemic, we would have done more before now”.

He listed the achievements to include the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between NESG and the Federal Ministry of Sports Development on sports as business in 2019. He described the agreement as unprecedented in the history of the country in sports development.

Also speaking at the inauguration, Chairman, NESG, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, stressed the need for both the public and private to establish convergence towards the recovery of the economy.

Nothing that the pandemic has had much impact on the country, he said all stakeholders must put aside personal interest and work towards the well-being of the Nigerians and recovery of the economy.

He said all conversation should be geared towards the attainment of a world class Nigeria.

Asue further observed that the JPC needed to be innovative and creative, noting that Nigerian economic development was at a turning point and, as such, a volatile economic output would alter the economic growth plan of the country.

He added: “We need an approach that is reflective, restructuring and rebuilding for our economy. In addition, we need a big conversation to action so as to reflect on the economy, reflect on the pandemic, review the trend and chart a path for a better, inclusive Nigerian economy and sustainable development. We must take and implement the right decision.”