The Nigerian Economic Summit group has today released a statement on the state of the Nigeria Nation to address major issues.The statement was signed by ‘Laoye Jaiyeola – CEO, NESG and Asue Ighodalo – Chairman, Board of Directors.
The statement titled ‘’Matter of urgent attention” which was obtained by MSME Africa Online addressed top burning issues touching on border re-opening, fuel subsidy removal, CAMA 2020, BOFIA and others.
Addressing the issue of border re-opening, the statement reads “The NESG urges the Federal Government to expedite actions at re-opening our closed borders given its negative impact on trade and employment. It must be noted that our work in ECOWAS should not be limited to security and diplomacy, but must also effectively harness trade opportunities within the sub-region.
“We also call on the government to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), so that we can move to full membership status and take our rightful place in subsequent negotiation rounds. We remain of the firm belief that with the necessary infrastructure, Nigerian economy and the Nigerian people, with our innovative capacity, hard work and creativity, will be one of the greatest beneficiaries of African and West African free trade. This will also enable fair competition, competent institutions, efficiency and transparency in our processes.”
NESG also decried the alarming level of unemployment and poverty in the country : ‘’ The NESG notes with grave concern the rising level of poverty, unemployment and underemployment in our country which is predominant among our young people and has been exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19 and the slump in commodity prices.
“We urge that while efforts at creating short-term jobs across the country is commendable, a lot more effort must be channeled towards re-skilling, retooling and reviewing our school curriculum. A focused approach to vocational studies must also be undertaken, and all our 13.2M children (Pre COVID-19) out of school must be brought into the school system.” The statement reads.
The group also noted the nation’s resort to borrowing (either domestic or international), and quantitative easing by the monetary authorities to fund the large deficit which has now been made worse by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Noting that these specific actions are not sustainable in the medium to long term, the Group urges government to urgently, consider a strong communication strategy that engages the people and prepares them for tougher times ahead whilst the current reforms take effect.
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) was established and incorporated as a non-profit, non-partisan private sector organisation with a mandate to promote and champion the reform of the Nigerian economy into an open, private sector-led globally competitive economy. Over the years, NESG has achieved significant progress in the areas of research outputs, execution of programmes, seminars, conferences and workshops aimed at facilitating the formulation and implementation of social and economic reform programmes for the growth and transformation of the Nigerian economy