NESG hinges on the need for self-sufficiency
Hinged on the theme ‘Made in Nigeria’, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has highlighted the need to embrace self- sufficiency as a viable alternative to improve Nigeria’s dwindling economy. This call was made on Friday at a press conference in Lagos heralding the 22nd edition of the annual Nigerian Economic Summit tagged NES #22 scheduled for October 10 – 12 in Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
The theme of this year’s conference is in line with the Buhari administration’s commitment to diversify the productive base of the nation away from crude oil. The summit also intends to articulate national discuss in promotion of locally-manufactured goods and services that are already up to standard for consumption and encourage exports and increase opportunities for SMEs.
Speaking during the conference, the Honourable Minister, Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, assured that the 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit will encourage more production and consumption of Made in Nigeria goods and services. “We believe that with more patronage, Nigerian producers will be encouraged to improve the quality of their products. As the quality of our goods and services improve, international demand for them will increase. There is no doubt that the fastest route to grow our economy and to create jobs for our teeming population is by pursuing export-led growth. Export-led growth will add to our foreign reserves and stabilize the naira,” he said.
Explaining the rationale behind the theme, CEO, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr. Jaiyeola Laoye, described the ‘Made in Nigeria’ initiative as an economic growth and development strategy for Nigeria’s short, medium and long term development.
Jaiyeola explained that Nigeria’s status as an import dependent and a huge consumption economy has led to negative economic growth, dwindling foreign reserves and pressure on local currency exchange rate relative to major currencies. He stated that the theme was not only necessary and timely, but will also be used to embody the imperative to commit to the structural and fiscal changes required to strengthen the Nigerian economy.
“Past editions of the Nigerian Economic Summit have made recommendations on self-sufficiency in local production and an export-driven economy. With our current economic realities, the NESG realises that this is the perfect opportunity to articulate a national discussion on ‘Made in Nigeria’ to promote the goods and services that are already up to standards for consumption, encourage exports and increase opportunities for SMEs,” he added.
The sub-themes of the summit will centre on the macroeconomic environment, ease of doing business, stakeholder’s behaviour and attitudes, access to finance, infrastructure, quality and standards, technology and innovation as well as job creation, skills and youth employment.
The summit is organized annually by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the National Planning Commission (NPC) which is now the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
The last summit had the theme ‘Tough Choices: Achieving competitiveness, inclusive growth and sustainability’. Following that summit, the Federal Government has started implementing some of the recommendations including setting aside N500 billion in the 2016 budget for social investment programmes in order to address the needs of the most vulnerable in our country.