On Thursday, the 7th of July, 2022, the public sector, represented by the federal ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the organised private sector, represented by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), announced the theme for the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit “2023 and Beyond: Priorities for Shared Prosperity” scheduled to hold on October 24th and 25th, 2022, while inaugurating the Joint planning committee for the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#28).
While welcoming participants to the event, the chairman of the NESG, Mr Asue Ighodalo, said that the annual Nigerian Economic Summits had been sustained as a public-private dialogue platform by the NESG (representing the private sector) and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning (representing the Federal Government of Nigeria). He noted that the Summit is a foremost platform through which the federal and state governments engage with corporate leaders and discuss Nigeria’s national and sub-national economic realities to co-create reform strategies that are critical for the advancement and reform of the Nigerian economy.
Mr Ighodalo stated that the vision of a secure, developed, prosperous and macro-economically stable country where the rule of law prevails and no one is left oppressed appears dimmed with today’s considerable headwinds, but the current electoral cycle offers a unique opportunity to reflect and reset. He noted that the challenge of non-inclusive economic growth reflects low productivity across employment-elastic sectors, which continues to weaken their capacity to create more job opportunities and decent employment. “Government has a pivotal role in jump-starting and addressing with utmost urgency six critical challenges including non-inclusive economic growth, macroeconomic instability, infrastructure deficit, human capital deficit and skills gap, national insecurity and weak economic competitiveness,” he stated.
Furthermore, Mr Ighodalo reiterated that Nigeria’s weak economic competitiveness remains a crucial concern for investors, stating that businesses in Nigeria face obstacles that threaten their survival and expansion. “The 28th Nigerian Economic Summit NES#28 presents a unique opportunity to galvanise stakeholders to articulate the country’s development imperatives that must satisfy the need for inclusive economic growth, security, social justice, equitable access to political and economic opportunities, conscientious governance, political stability and environmental sustainability with a deliberate intention to influence election debates and the economic policy agenda for incoming administrations at all tiers of government,” Mr Ighodalo stated.
The honourable minister of state, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, said that the development of the Medium-Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) was inclusive, and the government only facilitated the process. “The input from the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit has been received and distributed, and the national integrated infrastructure master plan shows that we have a huge infrastructure deficit which can help Nigeria move from consumption to production. The MTNDP talks about how rural roads, broadband technology and other critical infrastructure can get to the rural areas to encourage investment,” he stated.
While revealing the theme of NES#28, Prince Clem Agba said that the Summit would galvanise stakeholders to commit to a sustainable economy and agree on a compact that compels stakeholders to ensure key recommendations are urgently implemented. He stated that the Joint Planning Committee for the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit is saddled with the responsibility of reviewing the report of the NES#27, making preparations for NES#27, articulating budgetary requirements, preparing a report of the Summit and undertaking any work that may lead to the success of the Summit.
The first Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#1) was held from February 18-20, 1993. Participants at NES#1 concluded that it is imperative for the private sector to dialogue and cooperate with the public sector continuously. Since that first Summit, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, a private sector think-tank and nonprofit organisation has organised the Annual Nigerian Economic Summit in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria. The NES has become an annual dialogue and, indeed, the flagship event of government and business. The Nigerian Economic Summit has provided a credible and widely recognised platform for forging understanding and consensus on the national economic policy direction and growth strategies. Over the past 28 years, national and global policymakers and business leaders have acknowledged that the annual NES is the premier platform for public-private dialogue in Nigeria
Head, Strategic Communications & Advocacy