The summit being implemented in partnership with the National Planning Commission (NPC) with the theme “Tough Choices: Achieving Competitiveness, Inclusive Growth and Sustainability” is scheduled to hold in Abuja.
This year’s summit is particularly significant for two reasons- first because the country has witnessed for the first time, a change in administration characterized by a party other than the traditional ruling party occupying the central seat of government and second because of the current dynamics on the economic scene that require urgent attention.
It is therefore against this backdrop that the summit this year will be a departure from sector specific considerations that the group focused on in the last three years. Indeed the choice of theme is predicated on the fact that despite the recent 2014 rebasing exercise in which Nigeria emerged as Africa’s foremost economic power with an estimated GDP of US$536 billion (which has surpassed the economy of South Africa; and accounts for almost 50% of the GDP of West Africa), our growth in the last decade has remained non-inclusive. Symptoms of which include (a) high youth unemployment - estimated at about 24% in 2011 (regional disparities indicate that it is about 33% in the north-east); (b) 70% of our population living below the poverty line (McKinsey Global Institute estimates that 74% which translates to about 130 million Nigerians); and (c) low developmental indices rankings (nearly all international development organizations rank Nigeria among the lowest 10% in global development indices).
In addition to the issues highlighted above are the current economic realities facing us as a nation occasioned by declining crude oil price in the international market, the foreign-exchange crisis as well as significant capital outflows from the system thus putting government in a very challenging situation that beckons for tough choices to be made with respect to ensuring economic stability, achieving competitiveness in a sustainable manner, dealing with structural weaknesses as well as rebuilding our institutions.
The objectives of this Summit would be to facilitate stakeholders’ discussions/agreements about how best to achieve competitiveness and inclusive growth in a sustainable way, through measurable outcomes as well as to push for permanent structural changes that would allow inclusive growth. Key outcomes will include specific recommendations on how to:
- Create jobs;
- Dismantle the pillars of corruption;
- Establish and build upon pillars of sustainable growth and development
- Macro-economic stability and growth (fiscal and monetary policy reforms, restructure Federal Government revenues, etc)
- SME growth (reforms to improve funding mechanisms and further diversify the economy)
- Institutional reforms (accountability, ICT, etc)
- Competitiveness (infrastructure, policy bottlenecks, human development, etc)
- Align our home-grown long-term development agenda with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, that will take effect from January 2016.
In order to achieve these outcomes, the 21st Summit is structured to include a Presidential Policy Dialogue and other sessions will focus on leveraging Nigeria’s Competitive advantage, Business and Sustainability, Regulators Forum, Legislatures Forum, Policy Commission breakout sessions (to deal with industry specifics), Design Workshops as well a conversation with the State Governors.