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.

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.