FG Pledges Support For Nigerian Economic Submit Group

FG Pledges Support For Nigerian Economic Submit Group
File photo: Mr Boss Mustapha

 

The Federal Government has promised to support the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), to achieve its goals of food and social security.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr Boss Mustapha, revealed this on Saturday in a statement after receiving members of the group at his office in Abuja.

The NESG delegation visited the SFG to brief him on their activities and plans for further development of food and social security in the country.

Chairman of the group, Mr Kyari Bukar, stressed the need for the government to provide more jobs for the people, stressing that about 42 per cent of a population of about 200 million are either employed or under-employed.

He noted that five to seven million jobs must be created annually to absorb the growth in population if Nigeria is to benefit from her huge population.

Mr Bukar further urged the SGF to support the approval of the economic and social security bills that are before the National Assembly.

Nigeria Restates Commitment To Reducing Dependence On Oil

Udoma-UdomaThe Federal Government of Nigeria has reaffirmed its commitment to diversifying the nation’s economy to reduce its dependence on oil.

The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, made the declaration on Wednesday at the end of the National Economic Summit Group (NESG).

He said the proposed shift from oil resources would help create jobs, reduce poverty and contribute to the nation’s socio economic development.

At the moment, the nation’s economy is in recession.

Mr Udoma explained that the government would achieve this through a synergy with members of the organised private sector.

He added that the government was eager towards diverting from its over dependence on petroleum resources to other sectors of the economy.

As the NESG meeting comes to an end, experts have been deliberating on how to improve the Nigerian economy through the patronage of locally produced goods.

Nigerian-Economic-Summit-Group

One of the participants, Lanre Akinbo, is hopeful that key recommendations identified at the gathering will serve as a starting point for the successful implementation of the Made in Nigeria campaign.

The 22nd edition of the NESG meeting opened on Monday in Abuja, with participants looking to come up with strategies that would spur economic growth through heightened patronage of made in Nigeria goods and services.

The theme for this year’s summit is ‘Made In Nigeria’ and the organisers of the summit say they are looking to re-emphasise the message that the productive capacity of the Nigerian economy has to be developed as much as possible.

Need For Diversification

In his opening address, President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria had no other choice at the moment than to diversify its economy to break its reliance on oil.

Buhari, NESG, Economy
President Buhari stresses need for diversification

He was happy with the theme of the summit, saying it “lies at the heart of so many of the efforts we are making to lead us through these troubled times and to lay a firm foundation for the future”.

The President stressed the need to diversify the economy, stating that it was to ensure Nigeria never have to rely on a commodity to survive as a country.

He added that there was apparently no other way to steer Nigeria out of its present economic predicament without building a strong economic foundation on Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.

On the sidelines of the summit, the Vice Chairman of the NESG, Sola David-Borha, told Channels Television that stakeholders would discuss issues affecting Nigeria’s economy and proffer solutions that will reflate the economy and subsequently bring growth.

Mrs David-Borha, who is also the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, said the group believes that patronising made in Nigeria goods and services will spur the growth of the economy that is already in recession.

President Buhari Says He Is Committed To Diversification Of The Economy

Buhari, NESG, Economy
President Buhari says buying Made-in-Nigeria products and services will help stimulate economic growth

President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria has no other choice at the moment than to diversify its economy to break its reliance on oil.

The president made the statement while declaring open the 22nd Nigeria Economic Summit in Abuja.

“I am so delighted that you have chosen as your theme Made-in-Nigeria, which lies at the heart of so many of the efforts we are making to lead us through these troubled times and to lay a firm foundation for the future.

“We need to diversify the economy so that we never again have to rely on one commodity to survive as a country, so that we can produce the food we eat, make our own textiles, produce most of the things we use and create the right environment for our young people to be able to innovate and create jobs through technology,” he said.

The President added that there was apparently no other way to steer Nigeria out of its present economic predicament without building a strong economic foundation on Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.

Holistic development

In an earlier speech delivered by Doyin Salami, a professor of economics and member of the Monetary Policy Committee, he said Nigeria needed to quickly work out a comprehensive development plan.

Professor Salami in his analysis of Nigeria’s present economic landscape in the local and international context, warns that the numbers are not in the country’s favour.

Dr. Salami says though the outlook may look bleak, there is hope for Nigeria
Dr. Salami says though the outlook may look bleak, there is hope for Nigeria

In the international market, he said: “International monetary policy, in particular, doesn’t look good for us. The dollar is strengthening and the likelihood over the next 18 months in particular is that the dollar will continue to be strong.

“That’s bad news for us by the way, because it also means a lower demand for crude oil”.

Professor Salami, however, accused the Buhari government of not effectively communicating some of its policies which in turn affects investor’s confidence.

He said Nigeria in the short term must boost the confidence of investors, articulate its development plan, with complementary monetary and fiscal policies and institutionalise a public procurement drive for Made-In-Nigeria goods.

Nigerian Economic Summit Opens In Abuja

Sola-David-BorhaThe 22nd edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) meeting has opened in Abuja, with participants looking to come up with strategies that will spur economic growth through heightened patronage of made in Nigeria goods and services.

The theme for this year’s summit is ‘Made In Nigeria’ and the organisers of the summit say they are looking to re-emphasise the message that the productive capacity of the Nigerian economy has to be developed as much as possible.

On the sidelines of the summit on Monday, the Vice Chairman of the NESG, Sola David-Borha, told Channels Television that stakeholders would discuss issues affecting Nigeria’s economy and proffer solutions that will reflate the economy and subsequently bring growth.

Mrs David-Borha, who is also the CEO of Stanbic IBTC Holdings, said the group believes that patronising made in Nigeria goods and services will spur the growth of the economy that is already in recession.

“Ultimately, it is about creating the right enabling environment so that Nigerians can make their goods and services for export.

“Companies abroad can come to Nigeria and use Nigerian labour and resources to produce goods as well.

“We believe that a focus on made in Nigeria goods will also help to drive efforts and lead to an export-led growth”.

Over the years, the NESG is seen as a foremost platform for public and private sector dialogue that encourages open debate that will enable the Nigerian economy grow. Such discussions have also led to private sector led-growth and responsible private-sector investment.Nigerian-Economic-Summit-Group

Policies that the group has promoted in the past years are on privatisation, opening up of the economy and freeing up of foreign exchange market.

Despite these efforts by the group, the Nigerian economy in the second quarter of this year officially slipped into recession, with a Gross Domestic Product contract of 2.06%.

The summit is coming at a period that the Naira is weak, but Mrs David-Borha believes that the Nigerian economy has progressed over the past 20 years, saying that the rebasing of the economy showed how much the economy had expanded.

“It is a diversified economy. Oil and gas is only 10 per cent.

“Nigerian goods and services are being consumed. We are talking about increasing the added value and about the fact that our ability to do so can be much better which will also help to grow our economy faster,” she said.

The Vice Chairman of the Summit stressed the need to get all cylinders (sectors of the economy) firing.

“You have to continue to repeat and say the right thing. The markets are liquid.

“Ensuring that our markets are liquid, open and transparent, that there is good governance and that the government put in place the infrastructure and put in place enabling environment,” Mrs David-Borha stressed.

She further described the 22nd edition of the summit as another opportunity to ensure that the group reiterates the same massage it has been making in the past 22 years.

After the opening ceremonies on Monday the summit will discuss macroeconomic policies, with focus on fiscal and monetary policy, which the groups stressed was crucial in driving economic growth.

On Tuesday the Summit will have parallel sessions on the ICT, Small and Medium Enterprises, Micro Credit, services and finance.

Business Incorporated: Role Of Education In Job Creation, Inclusive Growth

Business incorporatedThis edition of Business Incorporated focuses on the role of education in job creation, inclusive growth and bridging the inequality gap in Nigeria.

The President of Nigeria-Britain Association and business development consultant, Mr Tunde Arogunmati speaks on how Nigeria’s education sector can work to achieve a sustainable economy.

Great Education Cannot Exist Without National Vision – Analyst

Vincent AnigboguThe Director General, Institute For National Transformation International, Professor Vincent Anigbogu, on Thursday said that Nigeria can only achieve its desired goals in the education sector when it is able to properly articulate and achieve a national vision, as great education is a product of national agenda.

Anigbogu, a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, at the Nigerian Economic Summit on Education, said “education is a tool, not an end in itself. It’s a tool for national development, so if you try to execute an education policy outside the context of a clear national vision, it is a journey that will not succeed very well.”

In trying to paint a picture of what Nigeria needs to aspire to, Anigbogu made reference to a statement made by a former President of Singapore and re-stated by Dr. Victor Koh, a delegate at the Summit: “Singapore’s vision is to build a multicultural, multi-religious, multilingual society that is rugged and dynamic enough to compete in the world market.”

At the time the statement was initially made, Singapore had a per capita income of $400 but have over the years grown to be the 4th wealthiest nation of the world with a per capita income of $62,000.

“In the process, they’ve also built one of the best education systems in the world,” Anigbogu added, insisting that “you don’t build education outside the context of a strong national vision that creates passion, ownership.”

He explained that when there is a clear vision of what the country should be, in striving to build that nation, “you will end up building a good education system because it’s a pre-requisite.”

Furthermore, Anigbogu blamed the government for failing to articulate the vision for the nation properly. “If we do, we have not done a good job to allow that vision to drive all our policies including our education policy, so that every teacher in the classroom, every government employee knows where we are going and there’s a monitoring and evaluation system so that we know where we are.”

He stressed, “Besides having a clear vision, we must make sure that that vision is recited on a regular basis, so that everybody hears it and buys into it.” This, he said, will foster passion, ownership and focus.

Anigbogu also disclosed that the organization had made recommendations to governments in a total of eight countries, including Nigeria but had not been invited by the Nigerian government. “I will humbly say that most nations where we are, the government of that nation actually invited us and they are listening to us. When we are invited in Nigeria, we will respond.”

Commenting on claims that the education sector has been politicised, Anigbogu said that the trend can only be reversed when “politicians understand the long term implication of not having quality education sector.”

Education Is Everybody’s Business – Ezekwesili

Sunrise EzekwesiliFormer Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili, believes that education has to be the business of everybody, as it is an investment rather than just a business.

While canvassing for a partnership between the Government and the private sector towards moving the Nigerian education sector forward, she noted that there were different levels of enormous returns that could be earned from investing in education.

Dr Ezekwesili recalled her time as the Minister of education, revealing how bad the state of the system was within the federal ministry. She referred to her project as “Crisis”, stating that quite early she “knew there was no way Government could solve the problem (alone).”

Speaking passionately on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily live from Abuja, venue of the Nigerian Economic Summit, which had been focusing on developing the Nigerian education sector, Dr Ezekwesili said “Education is a system” and it should not be handled like an element of politics but a major part of nation building.

While speaking about the current state of the sector in comparison to her time as Minister, she said that her investigations revealed that the results in the sector were nothing to smile about, emphasizing that the country’s investment had not produced the result commensurate with it.

She admitted, “We were not in a good place when I was there, and you reflect to 7 years after and it’s declined even further. Do we need any more indicators to discuss these issues?”

Speaking about the way forward, Dr Ezekwesili said that there was need to keep a track of what the Nigerian youths were doing with an emphasis on the available academic facilities in the country. She explained that this involved asking what students who are not in the universities or polytechnics were doing with their lives and creating alternatives to the existing academic system the country operates.

She spoke about the establishment of the Vocational Enterprise Institution and Innovation Enterprise Institution. These according to her, are schools set up mainly to train people with skills to drive innovation and ideas as the new paradigm in Nigerian education.

She said that the rationale behind this was to build a partnership that has the authority of industry practitioners as a means to earn the trust of Nigerian youths. She also said that this was to drive the value of innovation, productivity and self-employment.

In further describing how these would work, she revealed that celebrity filmmakers and veteran actresses, Hilda Dokubo and Joke Silva had been accredited to set up such Innovation Enterprise Institutions in their fields, because of the belief that they would be better trusted to offer practical knowledge and real inspiration in their schools rather than the usual government establishments.

She explained that a complete education package should be a combination of the ‘Mechanical’, which is about the skilled knowledge; the ‘Affective’ which entails the moral values; and the Cognitive, which refers to the quality of reasoning that should be deposited in students by the teachers.

The quality of teachers in Nigerian schools then came to the fore as she spoke about the need to retrain the teachers at a shared cost between the government and the private sector. She decried the presence of Grade 2 teachers still in the system without any upgrade in their knowledge as ridiculous in the current age, noting that many kids now knew better than their teachers.

She, however, said that this should be an initiative of the government. Emphasizing such regulatory part of the sector as being solely a role of the government, she said that the investment intervention would be more productive when the system had been made receptive to development.

Dr Ezekwesili also cited the quality of policy driven discussions that the young anchors of Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily  engage in as one of the key features that would add value to the development of Nigerian education. While commending the team, she admitted that the country had not had this high level of policy driven debates for a very long time, a situation she believed had contributed to the decline.

She also urged the current government to wake up to the situation, as she said that the government was missing out on an important part of its role.

 

Education Needs To Be Fixed In Nigeria – Foluso Philips

foluso philipsThe Chairman of the 20th Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) Foluso Phillips says education needs to be fixed in Nigeria to enable the country meet up with international standard.

Mr Phillips spoke on Monday on the sideline of the Summit focusing on revamping, rebuilding and re-enforcing the education sector for the nation’s future.

He stated that the Nigerian economy had not really grown and that’s why there is so much cry about unemployment.

“Over the last 20 -30 years Nigeria’s level of industrialisation has gone down, which makes the reduction in creative skills,” he pointed out.

On Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, Mr Phillips insisted that there should be a change in planning which would trigger  a high demand of labour and skill to reduce the rate of unemployment in the country.

He emphasised that the government should look into the educational system in the country, insisting that the curriculum and the training of teachers should be looked at