By Etuka Sunday
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has advocated stronger and well-defined partnership between the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Federal Government, represented by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
Mrs Ahmed spoke in her remarks at the Presentation of the Report of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, Tuesday, April 20, 2021 in Abuja.
She said, beyond the joint hosting of the Annual Summit, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group is currently assisting the Ministry in its efforts at producing the Successor Plans to both the NV20:2020 and ERGP, 2017-2020.
She said, “the Ministry will work with the NESG to put in place, a Memorandum of Understanding to anchor and formalize this partnership as well as define the roles of both parties.”
The minister noted that the 2020 Summit provided opportunity for a significant turning point for the Federal government, sub-national governments, the Youth and Private sector to collectively pursue innovative and collaborative policies.
She said, it also reviewed the challenges of unemployment, inequality, poverty and gaping infrastructure deficit and made recommendations.
“The recommendations among others bothered on restructuring our education system and rebuilding the health infrastructure; Harmonization of national data with unique identifier; deliberate policy on Youth empowerment; ensure unity in diversity; and effective collaboration among the Federal Government, sub-national governments and the private sector”, she said.
Mrs Ahmed said, she has “noted the detailed recommendations with responsible institutions. We will transmit the recommendations to Mr. President and indeed the Federal Executive Council. With the approval of Mr. President, government will put in place deliberate policies, working with responsible Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure implementation of the recommendations”.
She commended the NESG for developing the Economic Outlook, which according to her, would no doubt provide a guide to government in its efforts to better the lots of Nigerian citizens.
Ahmed informed that the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit would hold in October 25 – 26, 2021, therefore, encouraged the Joint Planning Committee to immediately commence preparation for the 27th Summit.
Earlier, the Chairman, NESG, Mr. Asue Ighodalo said, about 6,400 participants attended the 26th Summit, adding that about 350 attended physically while, over 6,000 joined virtually because of the #EndSARS protest across the country and the global covid-19 pandemic.
Mr. Ighodalo said, the recommendations as contained in the report of the summit amongst other stressed the need for State governments to be competitive and focus to drive more internally generated revenue (IGR).
It also stressed the need for stability, growth and sustainability of the economy, while advocating for the passage of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) to attract investment into the country.