The 25th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit is expected to set an agenda for the country to key into the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning Zainab Shamshuna Ahmed disclosed this at a press briefing ahead of the summit scheduled to hold October 7-8 in Abuja with the theme ‘Nigeria 2050, Shifting Gears’.
The minister, who noted that the sub-themes of the summit would focus on proffering solutions for rapid industrialization; transforming education and; managing demography in the country, also said that agriculture, manufacturing, Information and Communication Technology sectors would also be key focus at the summit.
She said “the conference will focus on six key sectors of agriculture, manufacturing, ICT, financial services, creative industries as well as the extractive industries. This is because the summit will be setting a new agenda for Nigeria to key into the 4th industrial revolution.”
She said the economic summit, which is organized by the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) in partnership with the federal government through the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, serves as an avenue for robust discussions between the public and private sectors.
“Since the inception of the summit in 1993, the public and private sectors, civil society organizations and academia have always come together with recommendations that help in shaping the federal government’s key economic policies.
“There is an urgent need for a robust competitive private sector through innovations of ideas in the macroeconomic environment to cater for Nigeria’s huge population, most of whom are under the age of 35 so as to set an agenda for Nigeria to key into the fourth revolution.
“The summit will also discuss the role of state governments in enhancing competitiveness through a stable macroeconomic growth that will drive economic growth and productivity of the Nigerian populace,” she explained.
Reviewing last year’s summit, the minister said its recommendations had helped in addressing issues of sustainable human and economic development.
“It provided a timely opportunity for a national economic review and created a consensus amongst all Nigerians on the need to ensure that Nigerians take advantage of the opportunities that exist to increase productivity and create jobs,” she said.
She said this year’s theme will emphasize the imperatives for the country’s move to a more robust competitive private sector economy.
Zainab maintained that the summit, over the years, birthed key economic policies of the government including the Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) which expires by 2020, among others.
While commenting on the increase in oil prices as a result of Saudi oil facility attack, the minister said the federal government will be maintaining the benchmark rate, adding that it will not be in a haste to increase the rate.
Speaking earlier, chairman of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Asue Ighodalo, said the summit will be focusing on enhancing private sector growth and productivity.
He said “Only a competitive private sector growth can guarantee conducive environment for Nigeria’s businesses and her huge population which is estimated to hit 400 million by the year 2050.
“This is why the summit this year will be a convergence point for thorough discussions between government and the private sector to advance growth and productivity of the country.”