Prince Clem Ikanade Agba...Minister of State, Budget and National Planning

BY GRACE ANYANWU, ABUJA – The Federal Government on Friday inaugurated the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) for the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#26) scheduled to hold in October 2020.

The Summit, which is an annual event, jointly organized by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), is a public-private sector platform for dialogue among stakeholders in the Nigerian economy.

Addressing participants at the virtual inauguration in Abuja, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, said that the key mandate of the JPC was to undertake all preparatory arrangements for the successful hosting of the up-coming Summit.

Agba said the Summit would hold in line with terms of reference, including: review of the report of the 25th Economic Summit; make all arrangements for the successful hosting of the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#26) including the programme of events and timelines for the implementation of the key activities of the summit; prepare Green- book, which is the Main Report for the NES#26, within two months of completion of the Summit and mobilize relevant public and private sector stakeholders for the Summit, especially at the Federal, State and Local Government Levels, as well as the private sector and other key stakeholders, among others.

The Minister said that the NES#26 with the theme: “Building Partnerships for Resilience’’ was apt as the Summit would provide a veritable platform for the Public and Private Sector stakeholders to reflect on the state of the Nigerian economy, rethink the country’s economic fundamentals and deliberate on the impact of the global pandemic.

He added that the Summit would also explore emerging trends so that Nigeria could capitalize on new opportunities and chart a path to sustainable growth.

Agba said that the JPC would work under the joint coordination of the private sector, represented by the NESG and the public sector, represented by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

Speaking on behalf of NESG, the Chairman, Board of Economic Summit Group, Mr Asue Ighodalo, observed that the JPC needed to be innovative and creative, noting that Nigerian economic development was at a turning point and, as such, a volatile economic output would alter the economic growth plan of the country.

Ighodalo maintained “we need an approach that is reflective, restructuring and rebuilding for our economy. In addition, we need a big conversation to action so as to reflect on the economy, reflect on the pandemic, review the trend and chart a path for a better, inclusive Nigerian economy and sustainable development.’’

In her opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Budget and National Planning Ministry, Mrs Olusola Idowu, reiterated that due to the current state of the economy, it had become imperative that Nigeria adopted a different approach to achieving rapid economic recovery and build an economy that was resilient to shocks.

She charged the Committee to work assiduously towards the actualization of the objective of NES#26 Summit and a successful hosting of the Summit.

In order to deepen the success of this year’s Summit, the Director, Department of Macroeconomic Analysis of Budget and National Planning, Mr David Adeosun, would lead other public sector officials as Co-Chair while the Managing Partner/Chief Executive Officer, Agon Continental Ltd. Mr Nnanna Ayim Ude would lead the private sector partners as Co-Chair.

The Committee members who were drawn from the public and private sectors were carefully chosen in recognition of their experience, knowledge and dedication to the development of the nation.

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