No Time For Business-As-Usual Approach To Governance, NESG Tells Govt

2023-07-31 17:49:00

Independent Newspapers Nigeria

ABUJA - The Nigerian Economic Summit Group(NESG), has told President Bola Tinubu's administration to understand that there is no time for a business-as-usual approach to governance in view of the plethora of challenges confronting the nation.

Mr. Laoye Jaiyeola, Chief Executive Officer of the NESG, stated this on Monday in Abuja at the formal inauguration of the NES #29 Joint Planning Committee.

Jaiyeola, said government and critical stakeholders in the economy must rise to confront the harsh realities that the nation is currently grappling with.

These harsh realities, according to him, include "weak economic growth, high poverty rates, a rising cost of living, increasing unemployment, and widening income gaps."

He observed with dismay that, "Despite being blessed with abundant oil reserves and holding the position of Africa's largest economy, Nigeria has paradoxically become home to many of the global poor, surpassing India in 2018.

"Nigeria is plagued with one of the world's poorest human capital indices concerning education and health outcomes.

"Apart from facing a substantial health infrastructure gap, the country has witnessed a significant brain drain of medical professionals, exacerbating the shortage of skilled personnel in the healthcare sector.

"This worrisome trend further compounds the challenges in addressing the nation's healthcare needs and improving overall human development indicators.

"Nigeria has long been pursuing structural economic transformation. However, the nation's heavy reliance on crude oil as its primary foreign exchange source has resulted in an unbalanced economy.

"The crude oil sector remains dominant despite contributing less than 10% percent to the national output and generating limited employment opportunities."

The NESG further decried Nigeria's slow pace of industrialisation, as evident in the sub-optimal manufacturing capacity utilisation, which has stagnated at approximately 50% over the years.

This situation, according to NESG, "severely hampers the Industrial sector's potential to contribute substantially to national output, economic growth, and job creation, leaving the country's economy imbalanced and unable to capitalise on its potential for sustainable development fully."

Jaiyeola, however, expressed optimism that with Nigeria's vast opportunities, given its abundant natural resources and population, "these physical and human resources should be more utilised, posing significant implications for realising shared prosperity in the nation."

The NESG pointed out that "concerted efforts and strategic planning are required to harness these resources effectively, maximise our national competitive advantages and create opportunities for sustainable economic development.

"In the context of a new government administration, there is an undeniable need to reinvigorate our efforts to achieve sustainable economic development."

On the forthcoming 29th Nigerian Economic Summit slated for October 23rd and 24th, 2023 in Abuja, Jaiyeola explained that the Summit would "follow up by demanding a transparent and well-thought-through economic agenda with specified implementation steps in purposeful response to the questions and recommendations thrown up at NES #28."

While inaugurating the NES #29 Joint Planning Committee, Engr. Nebeolisa Anako, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, said efforts have been concluded to forward the 2022 Summit recommendations and outcomes to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in the form of a Council Note for their information and guidance.

Anako explained that the key outcomes of the annual Summits have always played important roles in shaping the policies of the government, adding that the Summit had in the past contributed to entrenching the culture of development planning in the country.

"Most recently the partnership helped in no small measure in the development of the National Development Plan (NDP) 2021 2025 and the Nigeria Agenda 2050.

"The contributions of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group in this regard is well appreciated. I am confident that this partnership will continue to endure going forward," he said.

2023-07-31 News