By Somtochukwu Okonkwo
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) 29th summit (NES 29) holding 23rd – 24th October 2023 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 year’s summit theme hints at Nigeria’s potential for sustainable development, leveraging innovative policies, robust institutions, strategic infrastructural investments, and human capital development.
According to a statement released by the Group, Nigeria is currently grappling with rising unemployment, income disparity, and multidimensional poverty. “These challenges are worsened by an uneven allocation of resources, macroeconomic instability, and institutional deficiencies. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in 2022 revealed that approximately 62.9% of the population live in multidimensional poverty, threatening the development of a vibrant middle class. With population growth outpacing poverty reduction, Nigeria’s current trajectory highlights the critical need to prioritise long-term development and shared prosperity,” it added.
Despite the ongoing economic challenges, the NESG, however, expressed satisfaction with the current administration’s 8-point agenda targeted at getting Nigeria out of the woods. It referenced the World Bank’s forecast of an average annual economic growth rate of 2.9% for the country between 2023 and 2025, underscoring the possibility of positive change with all hands on deck.
According to the NESG, “Technological advancements and their increasing adoption offer glimpses of what can be achieved with the proper mechanisms. The change in political leadership also brings the opportunity for fresh ideas and the rectification of economic policies that have weakened the fiscal system.”
The NESG also advocated for constructive dialogue that incorporates the ideas of stakeholders. It assured that NES 29 would build on the legacy of previous summits to nudge the public and private sectors to co-create solutions that drive shared prosperity.
“In the context of a new government administration, there is an undeniable need to reinvigorate our efforts to achieve sustainable economic development. The 29th Nigerian Economic Summit is not just an annual event; it represents a call for change, a clarion call for renewed commitment, and a dedicated effort to turn our economy around for the better,” it said. At the recent inauguration of the NESG and Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning’s Joint Planning Committee for NES 29 in Abuja, the NESG had emphasised that the primary goal of this year’s Summit is to enhance the economic agenda setting of the government.