• Saturday, July 13, 2024
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NESG calls for new approach to tackle economic crisis

NESG calls for new approach to tackle economic crisis

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has called for a new approach to addressing the various economic headwinds bedeviling the nation.

Speaking during the inauguration of the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) for the 29th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES #29), in Abuja on Monday, Laoye Jaiyeola, the chief executive officer of NESG, said there was a need to confront the harsh realities that Nigeria currently faces.

Jaiyeola pointed to various projections indicating a pessimistic economic outlook for Nigeria from 2023 to 2025, with expectations of moderate economic growth, saying these are “insufficient to effectively tackle issues such as unemployment, poverty, and other socioeconomic challenges the country faces.”

He said, “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.

Speaking further, Jaiyeola said that the nation’s natural resources and population must be adequately utilised to realise shared prosperity in the nation.

For him, concerted efforts and strategic planning are required to harness these resources effectively, as well as maximise the nation’s competitive advantages and create opportunities for sustainable economic development.

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“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 percent to the national output and generating limited employment opportunities,” he said.

Nebeolisa Anako, the permanent secretary, ministry of budget and national planning, said that efforts have been concluded to forward the NES 28th recommendations and outcomes to the federal executive council (FEC) for their information and guidance.

According to him, the summit has continued to provide a veritable platform for dialogue among policymakers, corporate leaders, organised private sector, civil society organisation as well as development partners.

“The key outcomes of the annual summit 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 contribution of the NESG in this regard is well appreciated. I am confident that this partnership will continue to endure going forward.”

According to Ijeoma Taylaur, co-chair of the joint planning committee, the conference scheduled for Abuja between October 23 and 24, 2023, will focus on enhancing the economic agenda setting of the government.

“We aim to present actionable recommendations that will align with the nation’s strategic priorities, fostering economic growth and sustainable development,” she said.