For Nigeria to leapfrog out of the throes of poverty and realize her full potential, institutional barriers that foster corruption and undermine the country’s growth have to be checked, stakeholders at the 24th Nigerian Economic Summit holding in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, have argued.
The summit, themed “Poverty to Prosperity: Making Governance and Institutions Work,” is organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), a think-tank that rallies private sector actors to drive policy conversations and changes.
In his opening address, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, said that the government is working to engender economic growth by providing support to many Nigerians to actively participate in the economy.
He said these include the anchor borrower’s scheme through which smallholder farmers get loan to enable them increase their output.
According to him, “Also, 56 per cent of the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) has gone to women, and as much as N250 billion has been invested in various social investment programmes such as the N-Power.”
On the government’s anti-corruption fight, he said, “We must understand that corruption is a big issue and call it out wherever we see it. The general public can lend support to anti-corruption practices through reformed procurement and administrative processes and whistle blowing.”
On the education, he said “By educating women and girls, population growth can be reduced before 2030. School enrolment, quality education, adult education and getting the nine million out-of-school children back to school are crucial to growing our knowledge economy.”
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, at a side event, said that the state government is focused on human capital development, noting that the priority is to revamp basic education and drive technical training to equip the people with the right skills to contribute to economic growth.
He said it was regrettable that some graduates are not employable, which is hampering competitiveness.
“We are harping on skills acquisition and vocational education to ensure that the people are equipped with the right skills to contribute to the economy. We are also focused on basic education and are investing in it through the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme. We are partnering with a technology company to deliver quality education using technology in schools.”