25th economic summit to focus exploding population ― Ahmed

Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed says this year’s National Economic Summit will discuss how private sector would be strengthened to cope with Nigeria’s exploding population expected to hit 400 million by 2050.

Addressing the press on the 25th anniversary summit in Abuja on Monday, Ahmed with the theme “Nigeria 2050: Shifting Gears,” the Minister said “shifting gears emphasizes the imperatives for the country to move to a more robust competitive private sector economy while discussing the implication of the projected population of the country hitting over 400 million by 2050 with 65% of the population under the age of 35.

“This figure we know will put unimaginable pressure on our educational institutions, structures, resources and manpower.

“In this regard, it is only a competitive private sector-led economy that will drive this process and ensure economic prosperity all for Nigerians.

“To ensure a competitive economy, she said Nigerians must have stable macroeconomic conditions and business climate that will keep transaction costs low, thereby encouraging savings, investment and job creation.

“Nigeria’s economic prosperity depends on the productivity of our human and natural resources,” she added.

Ahmed gave conditions under which they could be achieved to include: modern and well-regulated financial sector that turns savings into productive investments; ability to advance in research, development and technology; investment in hard and soft infrastructure as well as sustained encouragement of entrepreneurship and innovation; economic activity in manufacturing, services, agriculture and natural resources that are viable and plugged into global value chains; introduction of legislation and policies that provide a sustainable foundation for the continuous development of human resources, science and technology, research and development, innovation and infrastructure and; identification of and focus on specific industries (and industry segments) that Nigeria has or can build sustainable competitive advantage.
Speaking earlier, Chairman of Nigeria Economic Summit Group Mr. Asue Aigboje said Nigerians must continue but at a greater pace to focus on diversifying and growing our economy.

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“To achieve this will necessitate providing required 21st century infrastructure, building quality human capacity and creating an enabling environment.”

Aigboje explained that the private sector strongly believes that only a competitive private sector-led economy can achieve a rising standard of living and economic prosperity for more than four hundred million Nigerians by the year 2050.

“It has, therefore, become critical for industry leaders and policymakers to again convene and chart a realistic way forward to achieve our desired goals of economic growth, competitiveness and inclusive development.

“This is required to adequately respond to the changing dynamics in our society between now and 2050.

“As a result, the focus of this year’s summit will be to set a new agenda for Nigeria as we usher in the fourth industrial revolution and mark a critical strategic shift towards a regionally and globally competitive private sector-led economy by 2050.”

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