Finally, the journey of Poverty to Prosperity took off yesterday at the Transcorp Hilton. Great conversations and solutions were put forward by the robust audience pooled from both the Private and public sector.
The Nigeria Economic Summit Group Chairman, Mr Asue Ighodalo in his opening speech stated that, “There is no better time than now to keep our eyes on the ball because, no matter the outcome on the 16th of February 2019, we must all work to ensure that we still have a strong economy to build on, the morning after.” This set the right tone for the event proceedings as every stakeholder admitted that it is important that the Nation sustains its growth witnessed in the previous year. This included the 24 places jump in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking and an upward movement by 10 places in the 2018 WEF Global Competitiveness Report.
His opening remarks paved way for the keynote address which was delivered by Prof. John M. Lewis of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), John Hopkins University. He dissected the historical background of Nigeria’s economy, with a strong comparison to that of Indonesia- a similar economy which has defied all odds to become prosperous. Quite significant were the five (5) strategic points that can help move the Nation from Poverty to Prosperity.
In cases of successful economic transition, development-oriented leadership drives change.
Modest changes in governance and institutions can produce significant growth effects.
Focus on binding constraints to growth.
Focus on livelihoods rather than “jobs.”
Revive sectorial strategies, especially industrial policy.
In his concluding remarks, he suggested a few tactical moves that can be made by the Government to accelerate the journey to prosperity. This included the forming an Effective economic team, strengthening peak economic institutions, alliance with urban entrepreneurs and rural producers and breaking through critical bottlenecks in infrastructure, notably electricity and ensure more predictable environment for transactions.
The President ably represented by the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo steered the conversation by reading the President’s speech, which highlighted the administration’s achievements in the last one year and most especially the implementation of some of the resolutions made at the last Economic Summit.
He later went on to declare the #NES24 open with the commencement of the plenary sessions.
Interestingly, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo mentioned that the “Grand Corruption” that takes place in Government remains his biggest shock since he became the Vice President. This was his response to Prof. Ngaire Woods of the University of Oxford during the first plenary session.
This was followed by the strategic breakout sessions and the second plenary session focused on running “Effective Public Institutions” with several revelations and resolutions on how to better the Nigerian Civil service with the Head, Mrs Oyo-Ita Winifred Ekanem present.
The day closed with a welcome dinner for participants to enjoy a night of good music, comedy and conversations.
Today is Day 2 of this journey and you can join us from anywhere in the world by following our social media pages; Twitter: @nesgnigeria, Facebook: @NigeriaEconomicSummitGroup, Instagram: @nesg_summit and YouTube channel: Nigeria Economic Summit Group for the live coverage.
Together, we can make our Nation truly prosperous.