Public Private Partnership, A Road Map To Economic Recovery And Development – Ahmed

Zainab Ahmed
From (R-L) Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Chairman, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mr. Asue Ighodalo, Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, and other dignitaries at the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit, held in Abuja.

The Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, has stated that the collaborative engagement of public and private stakeholders has helped sharpen the policies of government over the years.

The Minister made this known at the 26th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#26) with the theme: “Building Partnerships for Resilience’’ held recently, in Abuja.

Ahmed said that Nigerian Economic Summit has indeed remained the foremost platform for the public and private sector stakeholders to discuss issues and challenges facing the nation with a view to evolving common strategy and policy framework for addressing them. Ahmed added that  past summits’ outcomes contributed to policy reforms on power, agriculture, and the pension scheme, among others

She noted that this year’s summit emphasized the imperatives for the country to move to a more robust competitive private sector economy with focus on the implications of the projected population of the country hitting over 400 million. ‘This makes Nigeria the third most populous country in the world by 2050.’ the minister explained.

According to Ahmed, ‘a population growth rate of about 1.94 as at Q2 of 2019 cannot help us achieve the lofty aspirations enunciated in the Next level Agenda and priorities of Government’. She therefore maintained that there was an urgent need to design policies that would not only address the rising population but also ensure a paradigm shift to a competitive private sector led economic growth and development.

In her optimism, the minister hoped that the summit would set Nigeria on the part of becoming a globally competitive economy, consistent with the objective of the Economy Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
Earlier, the Chairman, Nigeria Economic Summit Group(NESG), Mr. Asue Ighodalo, in his key note address, said that the purpose of the summit was to build partnerships between the public and private sectors to enable them critically dialogue and press towards ”turning the wheels of our nation’s economy in the right direction.”

According to him, a figure released by the Nigerian Bureau Statistics (NBS) recently, indicated that ”our economy has slipped back into recession, our GDP in real sense is expected to contract to 4% by the end of 2020.” He also mentioned that the oil sector had contracted to 13.89% while the non-oil sector which covered key sub-sectors such as Transportation, Agriculture, Financial Institution, Information and Communication, Construction, Education, Real Estate and Trade recorded a negative growth of 2.5%.

The Group Chair, disclosed that in the 1st half of the year 2020, Nigeria added 3.6 trillion to its public debt stock, which stood at N31 trillion in June with public debt to increase further, stating that Nigeria had over 14 million out of school children, 55% unemployed adults, over 100m of poor people, 10% of global maternal deaths, exporters could not easily access the main ports and manufacturers were experiencing declining outputs and could not readily access foreign exchange for machinery.

Ighodalo urged stakeholders to engage throughout the summit and urgently define the path that would give 200 million Nigerians a future to believe in, a Nigeria that could be felt, touched and experienced by everyone at everywhere.

He opined that this year’s summit should be different, not “yet another’’ stressing that it must emphasise execution over endless dialogue and results over rhetoric and underline the value of partnerships at all levels across the country.

The event was attended by the Honourable Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, Executive Governor Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, Governor of Edo State, Godwin Obaseki,  Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, CEO the GIG Group, Mr. Chidi Ajaere, CEO MAINONE, Ms. Funke Opeke, President Women in Africa, Mrs. Hafsat Abiola – Catello, Dr. Yasar Jarrar, Professor of Business & Global Society Hult International Business School, amongst others.

Victoria Agba-Attah

Director Information, BNP

25th November, 2020.