By Dipo Olowookere
October 22 and 23, 2018 have been fixed for this year’s Nigerian Economic Summit (NES 24) taking place in Abuja.
Addressing newsmen on Tuesday, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Mr Udo Udoma, disclosed that this year’s event will focus on good governance as a path to sustainable human and economic development, tilting towards the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the federal government.
According to him, the ‘Poverty to Prosperity: Making Governance and Institutions to Work’ theme for 201 NES 24 is structured along five key thematic areas of corruption and rule of law: effective public institutions; sustainable economic opportunities; human development and; participation and citizens’ rights.
Mr Udoma said this present administration has sustained the fight against corruption and security has also been enhanced across the country to tackle all forms of criminal activities including kidnapping and terrorism; while reforms have been introduced to reduce the cost of governance, promote transparency in the management of public resources, block leakages, raise productivity and ensure value for money.
Others include efforts at moving the people from poverty to prosperity, creating employment and empowerment opportunities, combating hunger, improving health and educational infrastructure, enhancing transport and power infrastructure, among others, the Minister said this year’s gathering is designed to accelerate progress towards the implementation of the governance component of the ERGP.
“The ultimate goal is to stimulate discussions on accelerating implementation of ERGP strategies on governance in order to enhance the social welfare of the Nigerian people,” he stated.
The Minister was particularly pleased that the Startup Pitching Events which was introduced into the Summit programme last year to connect startups registered in Nigeria, as a platform for creating and expanding opportunities in the country, is already gaining traction.
“I am pleased to note that more than 745 startups have already submitted their applications through the applications portal which was opened on the 1st of August, 2018. Eight selected startups will be invited to pitch in front of venture capitalists and angel investors,” he revealed.
He was confident that this year’s Summit will present a good opportunity for discussion among leaders and citizens to deepen civic engagement on how to accelerate the achievement of the governance component of the ERGP.
Recalling the theme of last year’s Summit, ‘Opportunities, Productivity and Employment: Actualizing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan,’ the Minister said that Summit was out to get stakeholder commitment to the structural and fiscal changes required to link policy to economic opportunities, skills and competencies that deliver them so as to achieve the aims of the ERGP.
The outcome of that Summit, according to him, inspired the focus of this year’s outing, noting that government has continued to implement the various strategies outlined in the ERGP and the outcomes of the Economic Summits towards enhancing good governance and strengthening of institutions; the results of which he said are encouraging.
Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr ‘Laoye Jaiyeola, expressed the appreciation to the federal government for the collaboration that has seen the hosting of the Summit for the past 24 years.
The Nigerian Economic Summit is organized annually by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in collaboration with the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning. It is a forum for dialogue amongst top policymakers and corporate leaders.
It brings together government officials, representatives of the private sector, development partners, the civil society and some members of academia to reflect on issues constraining Nigeria’s national development, with the aim of building consensus so as to evolve common strategies and policy frameworks for addressing the issues.
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