By Bassey Udo
Ahead of its annual summit scheduled for Abuja next week, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has told the Board of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) to continue to focus on pressing national issues as the main objective of the meeting this year.
The Nigerian Economic Summit is an annual forum where the public and private sector stakeholders come together to deliberate on developmental issues affecting the country’s economy.
The VP said although sometimes discussions cover a lot of important things, there were pressing, immediate things with significance for the future well-being of the country’s economy that attention should focus on.
He was speaking with a delegation of the NESG who met with him on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa.
The NESG team was at the Villa to brief the VP on the agenda of the forthcoming 28th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES), which has the theme: ‘2023 and Beyond: Priorities for Shared Prosperity.’ The two day event is scheduled for the 14th and 15th of November, 2022.
“I am always concerned we don’t allow very many issues to obscure the more important issues that confront us today so that we leave the Summit with a clearer view on how we can resolve the pressing issues,” the VP said.
“For example, how do we tackle the rising inflation and the exchange rate instability? I really think we should spend more time focusing on the primary issues of inflation and exchange rate control,” he added.
Highlighting the significance of the private sector’s perspective to macroeconomic issues, the VP said it was very important to always note what private sector experts think were the main concerns today, especially about macroeconomics and how to deal with these issues.
What the private sector thinks about how we can resolve some of these issues, he said, was important, and deserves the attention of Summits like the NESG.
Acknowledging the contributions of the NESG to economic development over the years, the VP said he believed strongly in the objectives of the economic ombudsman.
He said the Group has contributed a lot to how the public sector thinks through policies, apart from providing that forum for public sector accountability.
“The NESG has also been very useful in educating the private sector about the processes of running complex systems, such as the one we have. It has been a very useful synergy between the public and the private sector,” the VP added.
Chairman of the NESG Board, Asue Ighodalo, who led the delegation, in his remarks, commended the Vice President’s coordination of the economy, which has produced great results in the ease of doing business.
Ighodalo said the VP has done a fantastic job on ease of doing business, regardless of the challenges that we are confronted with today.
He reiterated the commitment of the group to collaborate more with the public sector and expressed optimism that despite the challenges, the present government could still do much more before leaving office next year.
Ighodalo said at the NESG, members believe that the next six months were very critical for the country to ensure a solid foundation was laid for the incoming administration.
President Muhammadu Buhari, along with the VP and other leaders from the public and private sectors, are expected to feature at the 28th NES, to share their thoughts on visionary leadership and inclusive growth, among other topics.
Other members of the NESG delegation that visited the VP included its CEO, Laoye Jaiyeola; Member, NESG Board, Nnanna Ude; Co-Chair (Public Sector) – 28th NES Joint Planning Committee, Felix Okonkwo, and Co-Chair (Private Sector), 28th NES Joint Planning Committee, Ijeoma Taylaur, among others.