Our land soaked in blood, gloom, South-East Bishops wail

By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

The Nigerian Economic Summit Group, NESG,  has identified policy discord among various government institutions and private sector segments as a major hindrance to economic development.

Speaking at the opening of the 27th summit of the NESG, Abuja, yesterday with the theme, “Securing Our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now,” the Chairman of the Group, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, urged the public and private players in the country to sink their differences, with the purpose of uniting to confront the socio-economic woes facing the nation.

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 This comes as the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, hinted that the private sector needs to do more especially in tax  contribution to support government efforts.

Ighodalo stated: “We, the government and people of Nigeria, must act now, with fierce urgency, to reform and secure our future. We must, without any further bickering and equivocation, position ourselves to be part of and benefit from the 4th industrial and economic revolution.

“Three consistent underlying issues that have kept recurring in our advocacy have been the low levels of economic policy coordination, the pace of reforms and the low policy efficiencies and inconsistencies.

“Too many of the crucial policies required to deliver results have simply taken too long to be reviewed, approved and acted upon, resulting in an inability to coordinate various policies that were out of step with each other.

 “This is no time for petty quarrels, blame games and finger-pointing. It is time to secure our future, all working well together, with fierce urgency, utilising every arsenal and capability at our disposal.’’

Mrs. Ahmed urged the private sector to show greater commitment to growing the economy and driving the overall development of the nation.

She said, “The business sector is a key engine of growth that must play a crucial role in achieving the future we envisage. To realize this future, a paradigm shift is incontrovertible.

“This will entail comprehensive and targeted reforms, a reorientation of our national values, and a radical shift in our attitudes to taxation and public financial management.

“This is consistent with the focus of this Administration on targeted investment in critical infrastructure and social development.”

Ahmed, said that the future of the nation should not be compromised by the attempts to meet current needs.

She added that policy changes towards achieving the national economic growth desired by Nigerians must be sustained.

Her words, “The required investments and policy changes must be implemented in a sustainable and inclusive manner, ensuring that the needs of the present do not compromise the prosperity of future generations.

“Thus, in developing interventions, the wellbeing of present and future citizens of Nigeria must be guaranteed

“I envision a future with economic growth led by a thriving and innovative private sector resulting in a diversified economy with non-oil taxes as the major source of government revenue and the non-oil economy driving export expansion and accretion to our foreign reserves.

 “This future we all crave will be achieved by the dedication and hard work of all stakeholders, with leadership at the Federal, State and Local Government levels and in collaboration with the corporate sector.’’

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