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Nigeria needs N350trn to execute 5-year national development plan — FG

Nigeria would need as much as N350 trillion to execute its latest Medium-Term National Development Plan (2021-2025), Clem Agba, minister of State for Budget and National Planning said on Wednesday.

Speaking during the media briefing for the 27th National Economic Summit held in Abuja on Wednesday, the minister noted that the plan which covers all relevant sectors of the Nigerian society will be driven mainly by the private sector, adding that the recommendations of the private sector have been imperative to national growth in recent years.

According to him, while the government, both federal and state, is expected to contribute a total of N50 trillion to the project, the private sector is expected to shoulder N300 trillion. “If the right environment is created for the private sector to thrive, I know that this fund will not be a problem to them.

“Some policies implemented to grow the economy are directed at retaining and creating jobs, using labour intensive methods in key areas such as agriculture, facility maintenance, and housing.”

Speaking on the importance of the summit, the Minister noted that it often provides a veritable platform for effective partnership and cooperation between the public and private sector for the purpose of charting the course for a stable and productive economy.

“The theme of this Summit is “Securing the future: The fierce urgency of now”, it seeks to explore the potential opportunities that will accelerate economic development.

Read also: What FG’s N1.45trn budget for infrastructure means for real estate, economy

“The Summit discussion will be designed around five sub-themes including high and sustained growth, quality of life, national security, political economy, and digital transformation,” he said.

In his remark, the Chairman of the National Economic Summit Group, Asue Ighodalo said that the importance of the Summit can not be overemphasised, coming up at a time when the underlying weaknesses of the Nigeria economy are clearly showing through the devaluing currency, foreign exchange shortages, trade imbalances, budget deficits, mounting debts, among others.

According to him, a profound sense of urgency is required to effectively tackle the issues stunting the nation’s growth, economic viability, social stability, and security.

“The choice of our theme for this 27th Summit and the details of our conversations over the two days of the Summit ensures that we focus in a penetrating way on the solutions we must provide and the mechanics of implementation.

“Our environment remains unattractive to the levels of capital we require to bridge our deficits and infrastructure gaps. Nigeria exited recession with marginal GDP growth of 0.11% in Q4’2020 (NBS, 2021), and grew by 5.01% in Q2 2021 compared with the same period in 2020. Unfortunately, due to the weak correlation between output and key economic indicators, the recent GDP growth is accompanied by increased unemployment, underemployment, and more people being sucked into poverty.

“We are aware that some believe that the Summit process and the dialoguing over the last 26 Summits and 28 years has not yielded the transformative policy choices we require nor supported the process of effective implementation of determining policies. At the NESG, we remain undaunted and are confident that the platform created by these Summits over the years have fostered much better understanding, trust, and collaboration between both sectors and thereby ensured a better balancing and economic safeguarding process, regardless of the circumstances of our times,” he said.

He noted that as a private sector think-tank, the NESG remains firmly committed to its role as watchdog, intervener, convener, and dialogue partner, as it supports the government at every level to determine their policy choices which, if effectively implemented will avoid any other economic recession and keep the country on the path of sustained growth.

In her presentation, the co-chairman, Joint planning committee for the Summit, Ijeoma Taylaur, said that the principal objectives of the Summit include creating the right platform for accessing the current state of the Nigeria economy and economic vulnerabilities that perpetuate regression, Identify the vital imperatives of leveraging modern technology to accelerate significant improvements in the social, economic and security conditions of Nigeria, among others.

She said, “the conversations will envision strategies to reverse Nigeria’s poor economic trends to achieve high and sustained growth and bring Nigeria back on its path to assuming its economic potential.”

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