.Says Nigeria needs local solutions to tackle economic challenges
.Changing colonial mentality key to devt – Sanusi .NESG to concentrate on job creation- Ighodalo
President Muhammadu Buhari has identified inclusive growth as one of the key areas which the Federal Government is focusing on so as the tackle Nigeria’s rapid population growth.
The president said without inclusive growth, a large number of the country’s population will remain unproductive and become a burden to the society and the nation.
Buhari was speaking at the Nigerian Economic Summit (#NES25) in Abuja on Monday which had the theme “Nigeria 2050: Shifting Gears”.
He added that the policy formation on inclusive growth cannot be carried out by government alone, which is why the Nigerian Economic Summit provides a key partnership to address national issues by the public and private sectors aimed at eliminating corruption, and providing social amenities among the most vulnerable.
“Experts and analysts explain economic trend by making references to indicators of wealth. The need for improved quality of service delivery is important for a prosperous society where majority of citizens can afford descent living.
“Today, Nigeria’s prosperity is concentrated in the hands of a few people, primarily in four or five states including the Federal Capital Territory, leaving the rest of the population with little resources. As such, there is a serious need for the private and public sectors to partner in economic development, to protect business and create opportunities for citizens.
“We’re are weary of the population explosion which is why our economic policies are geared towards catering for our huge population as we’re estimated to be about 400 million people by the year 2050, which is why our economic policies in the last three years focus on the need to lift the poor and disadvantaged in the society and encourage inclusivity.
“Security and corruption matters in any developed economy, our policies and programmes must focus on inclusivity and collective prosperity. Shifting gears as the theme of the conference implies the concept that every competitive free market will focus on wealth creation and propagation of inclusive market which provides citizens with opportunities that will lead to peaceful and prosperous lives,” the president said.
The president reiterated that his recent participation at the ECOWAS summit, the international conference on African Development, United Nations General Assembly and recently to South Africa was to advocate for more inclusive governance that will promote growth and development.
Buhari stressed that his administration is poised at equipping citizens with the opportunities to better their lives through continued investment in education, infrastructure, health care, security and entrenchment of the rule of law.
He assured of government’s collaboration with the private sector in designing policies of sustained and inclusive growth for a better economy and urged experts at the summit to bring up innovative proposals to tackle Nigerian challenges which according to him can only be solved through “Made in Nigeria solutions”.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the chairman of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG), Asue Ighodalo said the summit will focus on enhancing private sector growth and productivity.
The NESG chairman said: “Only a competitive private sector growth can guarantee a conducive environment for Nigeria’s businesses and her huge population which is estimated to hit 400 million by the years 2050.
“This is why the summit this year will be a convergence point for thorough discussions between government and the private sector to advance growth and productivity of the country”.
Ighodalo added that it is imperative for key players and experts to assist government in providing solutions to the numerous economic and social problems facing the country with a view of providing the solution.
He said that 25th summit will identify the key areas in job creation, agriculture, manufacturing, Information and Communication technology, creative and extractive industries, as well as unblocking opportunities in the financial and extractive sectors.
Also, speaking as a panelist at the #NES25 summit, Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II, believes that it is high time for Nigeria to review the colonial mentality of restricting education only to English language.
According to him, Nigeria has reached a point where it has to start interrogating some colonial practices it has inherited since 1960 to fast-track developmental processes.
“Why do we have doctors that are being taught across the world in Chinese, German or Dutch language and not Yoruba, Igbo or Hausa?.
“As a country we need to embrace our indigenous languages in passing information and educating our students.
“Investing in women teachers as well as protecting the rights of women in the society is also crucial in the development of the country, the monarch said.
He added that investing in women’s education is crucial to any economic development Nigeria can achieve.
“Majority of the 3% population growth is coming from the north west and north central where there is high fertility rate, low education and extreme poverty, as such, if women especially in the region are only seen as baby factories and not elements of development, nothing can move forward,” he added.
The Emir also urged the Federal Government to adopt global best practices in tackling issues surrounding population growth and investing in the education sector.