• Saturday, April 20, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

NESG urges FG to leverage technology for economic growth

NESG calls for new approach to tackle economic crisis

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has stressed the need for the Nigerian government to focus on the role of technology and innovation, sub-national and local governments as drivers of economic growth and development.

Olaniyi Yusuf, chairman of NESG disclosed this during a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, stating that Nigeria’s youthful population presents a tremendous opportunity for accelerating national development through entrepreneurship and innovation.

According to him, with a large pool of creative and ambitious young minds, the country has the potential to foster a vibrant start-up ecosystem and drive economic growth. “By leveraging technology and innovation, these creative minds can introduce disruptive solutions, create jobs, and contribute to the overall progress of the Nigerian economy.

“With a predominantly young population and a high debt burden, Nigeria must chart a trajectory that ensures inter-generational and sustainable growth. The nation has encountered various economic and political obstacles in recent years, underscoring the urgent need to redesign its systems and address structural issues

“One of Nigeria’s pressing concerns is the need to translate economic growth into improved living standards for all its citizens,” he said.

The Group had earlier hinted that the 29th summit (NES 29) will be anchored on ‘Pathways for Sustainable Economic Transformation and Inclusion’, in light of the urgency of translating economic growth into improved and sustainable living standards for all citizens.

This is as Nigeria currently grapples with rising unemployment, income disparity, and multidimensional poverty, which are worsened by an uneven allocation of resources, macroeconomic instability, and institutional deficiencies.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report in 2022, approximately 62.9 percent of the Nigerian population lives in multidimensional poverty, this according to the Group is a threat to the development of a vibrant middle class.

Read also:71 million Nigerians living in extreme poverty

He decried that despite experiencing growth in the past few years, the country still grapples with rising unemployment, income disparity, and multidimensional poverty. Challenges which are worsened by an uneven allocation of resources, macroeconomic instability, and institutional deficiencies.

Speaking on the forthcoming Summit, Yusuf said that by establishing a robust and enduring economy, the Summit endeavors to address the socio-economic challenges faced by the country and ensure the continuation of valuable ideas, building upon the outcomes of previous economic Summits to transform Nigeria into a strong, inclusive, prosperous, corrupt-free, and globally competitive and sustainable economy.

In his remarks, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, Minister, of Budget and Economic Planning noted that achieving the theme of the Summit, ‘Pathways to Sustainable Economic Transformation and Inclusion in Nigeria’, lies in innovative policies, robust workable institutions, strategic investments in infrastructure, and innovation, and leveraging digital technology.

Read also: NESG spotlights human capital development to tackle brain drain

He explained that through targeted reforms, increased transparency, and good governance, Nigeria can unlock its immense economic potential as well as attract much-needed foreign investments.

According to the minister, the sub-themes of the Summit will address relevant pillars in the National Development Plan 2021-2025, the Nigeria Agenda 2050, and the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’.

For him, the outcomes of the Summit will be useful to drive the goals of Sustainable Economic Development as encapsulated in the country’s perspective Plan, tagged the Nigeria Agenda 2050 which includes; a stable and predictable macroeconomic environment, adopting policies that are consistent with raising domestic savings and investment among others.

“Overall, the main target of the Nigeria Agenda 2050 is to increase the country’s per capita GDP to US$6,000 and US$33,000 by 2030 and 2050 respectively. It will also bring the poverty rate to 0.6 percent while transiting the economy to the highest per capita GDP in the group of upper-middle-income economies.

“The plan will be effectively implemented by successive governments through six number 5-year Medium-Term National Development Plans and Annual Budgets.

Read also:NESG calls for joint effort to boost Nigerian skills, talent

“Therefore, the 29th Nigerian Economic Summit seeks to: inspire confidence in the Nigerian economy to drive job creation, economic growth, and the realization of Nigeria’s economic potentials; collectively design and prioritize strategies to unlock untapped potentials, foster sustainable economic transformation and promote shared prosperity for the nation.

“The Summit also seeks to cultivate a people and technology-centered approach to addressing emerging trends, shaping a future of inclusive and sustainable economic growth for Nigeria, and facilitating the implementation of reforms to promote investor confidence, attract FDI, and provide incentives for private sector participation in economic and social development