Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) Mr Asue Ighodalo has said Nigeria requires a major economic transformation for sustainable growth and development. Beyond that, he also said the country desperately needs massive investment in education for infrastructural and human capital development.
“Our country requires a major economic transformation. We possess extensive human and capital resources but we have not effectively leveraged our resources to catalyse economic growth and development,” the NESG chairman said yesterday at a media briefing for this year’s national economic summit in Abuja.
Mr Ighodalo said Nigeria needs to strengthen its democratic institutions, prevent conflicts, foster sustained economic growth, and combat external threats that come its way, especially the COVID-19 pandemic in its different variants and mutations, climate change, food insecurity, narcotics trafficking, imported terrorism and maritime insecurity.
The 27th summit is coming at a time Nigeria’s underlying economic weakness are being clearly shown up. The economy faces issues of devaluing currency, foreign exchange shortages, trade imbalances, budget deficits, mounting debts, high inflation especially food inflation, food insecurity, low manufacturing capacity, port inaccessibility, and delays and high costs of moving goods and machinery through the ports.
Ighodalo also said the Nigerian environment remains unattractive to the levels of capital that is required “to bridge our deficits and infrastructure gaps.” Nigeria exited recession with marginal GDP growth of 0.11 per cent in Q4′ 2020, and grew by 5.01 per cent in Q2 2021 compared with the same period in 2020.
Nigeria’s ranking on the global human development index remains unencouraging with indications of a further downward slide. The NESG boss said a profound sense of urgency is now required to effectively tackle all of the issues stunting the nation’s growth, economic viability, social stability, and national security.
Meanwhile, minister of state, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, who was also at the event disclosed that the federal has designed an economic plan under the 2021 to 2025 expenditure framework to spend about N350 trillion on capital projects across the country.
Agba said the N350 trillion is a funding requirement for the national development plan for capital projects for 2021 to 2025. “With the projects that have been projected and costed, there will be a requirement of about N350 trillion,” the minister said.
N300 trillion is expected to flow in from the organized private sector in the form of invest, while the government (federal and states) will be contributing about N50 trillion. The portion of federal government is about N30 trillion, and for the sub-nationals, it’s N20 trillion.
Agba said the N50 trillion from the public sector is expected to be funded through the annual budgets of the federal and the states’ budgets through capital vote.