The Nigerian Economic Summit Group has highlighted the need for private capital to boost infrastructure development and achieve inclusive economic growth in the country.
The NESG on Thursday launched the second edition of its annual macroeconomic outlook report in Lagos in which it reviewed the country’s economic performance in 2017 and gave its outlook on the basis of a macroeconomic model created for the purpose.
With the title ‘Growing Beyond Numbers: Will Nigeria’s growth be inclusive in 2018 and beyond?’, the report highlighted three pillars of inclusive growth as a sustainable way to tackle high unemployment and poverty rates through broad-based growth, social inclusion and the creation of social safety nets.
The Chairman of the NESG Board Committee on Research, Dr. Doyin Salami, who described the nation’s outlook as bright, said, “There are a number of things that are happening which I think are not just commendable but we hope will come to fruition soon enough. “
Salami, who is a former member of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria, said, “If you look at some of the legislations going through the National Assembly today, especially those pieces of legislation that deal with infrastructure, in my view, they are potentially huge game changers. Certainly, what the National Assembly is aiming at is a scenario that encourages private capital in infrastructure provision.
“Whether we like it or not, Nigeria is, relative to her requirement, capital deficient.” He stressed the need for private capital to spur the growth of the economy. Salami, who commended the report put together by the NESG Research Team, emphasized that Nigeria “must not make the same mistake that we made in the past, where growth is not accompanied by inclusiveness”.
The Chief Executive Officer, NESG, Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola, stressed the importance of evidence-based policy advocacy driven by data and research. He said that “despite the modest economic recovery recorded this year, the latest unemployment report of the National Bureau of Statistics showed that over four million Nigerians lost their jobs in the 12 months up to September 2017.
“Over 85 million Nigerians live below the national poverty line. These numbers point to the fundamental fact that Nigeria’s economic growth needs to be inclusive to provide employment opportunities and lift millions out of poverty.”