The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) on Tuesday, 21st of April 2021 resolved to pool resources together to develop partnerships towards building a resilient economy for the country.
At the closing session, Zainab Ahmed, minister for finance, budget and national planning, commended the NESG for developing the economic outlook, which she believed would no doubt provide a guide to government in its effort to better the lives of Nigerian citizens. She also thanked the joint committee and the NESG for their hard work and the successful execution of the NESG 26 summit. She went further to announce that the 27th NESG summit would hold on October 25 – 26, 2021, stating that the joint planning committee was expected to immediately commence preparations for the 27th summit.
The minister said her key takeaway from the summit was the need for all sectors of the economy to commit to “building strong partnerships for a resilient economy.” To achieve this objective, the minister said Nigerians need to cooperate more, either between the federal and sub-national governments, or between government and private sector, or government and the citizens.
“We need to re-establish the social contract between the government and the people, while the government needs to listen and consult more with the people to build a solid consensus on issues of national development,” the minister said.
Nigerian youths matter
Chairperson of NESG, Asue Ighodalo, highlighted the important role the youth have to play in nation-building, adding that the government is committed to partner with the Nigerian youth towards harnessing their potentials.
He stated that the fifth and final major recommendation is youth empowerment. He stated that there is need to tackle youth unemployment and underemployment head-on, hence the enactment of the ‘fit for purpose’ program. He further stated that it is important that they look at education as well as re-skill and re-tool the youth so that they would be fit for purpose. He said that they would be looking at scaling up formal apprenticeship programs, encourage formal apprenticeship skills (through accreditations and certifications), facilitate the development of industries to absorb more youths and get the youths engaged in policy and governance across governance.
He also emphasised the need to amplify domestic and foreign investment which would in turn dove-tail into their job creation proposals. He went further to state that “one important point that was made at the summit (which they all agreed to) was that a prompt passage of the PIB would signal to foreign investors and the international community at large that they truly are focused on attracting investment as well as focused on doing business”.