Mr. Asue Ighodalo, the outgoing chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, has said that for Nigeria to realize the goal of prosperity, the economy must be transformed into the opposite of what it is today.
He said this at the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit, currently held in Abuja themed: 2023 & Beyond: Priorities For Shared Prosperity”
The event, which is an annual event, brings together both public and private sector stakeholders to deliberate on developmental issues in Nigeria.
How to achieve prosperity: speaking on the theme of the summit, he noted that to share prosperity, one must be prosperous.
He said, “From where we are today, how do we become a prosperous, safe, secure, and law-abiding nation forged together as one? As we become prosperous, how do we equitably distribute and share our prosperity amongst our people?
“To realize the goal of prosperity, we must succeed in transforming the Nigerian economy into the complete opposite of what it is today, from hardship to true prosperity, within a specified time frame.
He revealed that “The Nigeria Agenda 2050, currently being drafted, proposes a time frame of about 25 years. It means there can be no further regression, we can no longer accept just marginal improvement, or even what some may deem a decent improvement; we must improve at the speed of a maglev train.
“We must recalibrate our vision and specifically state that we are working towards a specified target growth by a specified date, benchmarking ourselves with the most prosperous countries in the world. I propose that our specified target must be “turning Nigeria into the most prosperous black country in the world, with a GDP per capita that is at par with the OECD countries, by 2050,” he added.
Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning said the 2050 Agenda seeks to increase Nigeria’s per capita GDP to US$33,000 by 2050 and place Nigeria amongst the rank of upper-middle-income countries.
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Government’s agenda: “The Plan will be implemented by successive governments through six, 5-Year Medium-Term National Development Plans and Annual Budgets.
According to her, the Agenda 2050 has a moral imperative to lower the poverty and unemployment rate significantly as it is the only way to ensure sustainable broad-based growth.
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Speaking on the theme of this year’s summit, she said the theme was chosen to provide direction for stakeholders to examine the progress made so far in terms of achievement of the policies, programs, and projects in the National Development Plan (NDP), 2021-2025.
“As we implement the National Development Plan 2021-2025, the financing from the government will rely heavily on domestic resource mobilization from non-oil revenue sources through the results of the implementation of the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) and the Annual Finance Acts.
“This will improve and further diversify government revenues and entrench fiscal prudence and value for money.”
She noted that the current administration is focused on unlocking the economic potential of the non-oil and high employment-generating sectors to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth and development.
“Although challenged by a shortfall in revenues, the government kept its pact by prioritizing capital releases in favor of critical ongoing infrastructural projects in the power, roads, rail, agriculture, health, and education sectors.
“This is to strengthen the Nigerian economy post-Covid-19 pandemic. Resources are being mobilized with less emphasis on oil revenues. She added.
About the summit: The Nigerian Economic Summit is a yearly event that convenes national and global leaders in government, business, politics, development, civil society, and academia.
The event is being organized by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The event, which commenced today will be held all through to Tuesday, November 15, at Transcorp Hilton Abuja.