“The theme of NES#27 Summit, is “Securing the Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now”.  It builds on conversations from last year’s Summit, which emphasized the importance of harnessing critical and strategic partnership to navigate the economy towards recovery and resilience.”

It gives me great pleasure to address you on this very auspicious occasion of the World Press Conference/ media briefing on the Twenty Seventh Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#27). Let me start by commending the Gentlemen of the Press and the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) for their roles in publicizing and ensuring the successful hosting of the Twenty-Sixth Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#26). NES#26 Summit was hosted at a point in time when the country and the world economy at large was seriously passing through a torrid period occasion by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the odds, we were able to deliver a world class Summit.

Gentlemen of the Press, the purpose of our gathering here today is essentially to brief you, on our preparation for this year’s Summit and seek your support in giving the Summit adequate publicity. Just like the previous year, we are still challenged by the Covid-19 pandemic hence, the Summit is being organized in a hybrid format-virtual and in-person.

As you may be aware, the Nigerian Economic Summit is organized annually by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Federal Government of Nigeria represented by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning. The Summit provides a veritable platform for effective partnership and cooperation between the Public and Private sectors for the purpose of charting the course for stable and productive economy.

The Summit brings together development partners, the civil society and representatives of the academia as well as provides participants the unique opportunity to deliberate on contemporary economic and social issues.

Gentlemen of the Press, you will recall that the 26th Summit, focused on “Building Partnership for Resilience”. Building Partnership for Resilience was a huge conversation held between 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 COVID-19 pandemic.  The NES#26 Summit also discussed and explored emerging trends that enabled the country explore new opportunities for sustainable economic growth and development.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, it is pertinent at this point to inform you that the 26th Summit conclusions and recommendations have been forwarded to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and distributed to all Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to implement relevant aspects of the Summit recommendations. The National Development Plan (NDP) 2021-2025 also benefited from some of the recommendations of the 26th Summit.

The theme of the Summit, is “Securing the Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now”.  It builds on conversations from last year’s Summit, which emphasized the importance of harnessing critical and strategic partnership to navigate the economy towards recovery and resilience. It also seeks to explore potential opportunities that will accelerate economic development. Summit discussions will be designed around five Sub-Themes, High and Sustained Growth; Quality of Life; National Security Political Economy and Digital Transformation.

The theme is designed to:
⦁       Assess the current state of the Nigerian economy,
⦁       Foster a people-centred approach to refocus economic, social, and political challenges;
⦁       Galvanize a renewed commitment of stakeholders to urgently and actively prioritize the pursuit of economic growth that can sustainably create jobs, lift millions out of poverty and enable Nigeria to realize its economic potential on the global stage and;
⦁       Agree on a compact that compels stakeholders to take critical and immediate actions and institute an efficient monitoring mechanism to ensure key recommendations at the NES #27 are implemented.

Gentlemen of the Press, this year’s Summit is scheduled to hold from October 25 – 26, 2021 at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.

I inaugurated the Joint Planning Committee on July 28, 2021. I am informed that preparation for the 27th Summit has reached advanced stage and the Pre-summit Events have started. Some of these events covered the Circular Economy and Health and discussed among others:
⦁       Ways to create a foothold for sustainable technologies;
⦁       Improve local pharmaceutical manufacturing capacity that will contribute to economic recovery and growth and;
⦁       Fostering self-sufficiency in pharmaceutical, while building a resilient health system.

The Summit would be anchored on Plenary, CEO Roundtable, Briefings, Insight Sessions, Debates, Workshops, Dialogues, Co-creation labs and High-level panel discussions. Stakeholders will be engaged in frank discussions that highlight the Risks, Opportunities and Priorities that will accelerate and sustain inclusive economic growth driven by sub-national economies.

You will recall that the NES#22 was focused on “Made in Nigeria” and we all agreed that to move the nation forward, we need to have a paradigm shift from an import dependent and consumption economy to an economy that is self-sufficient in local production and export.  As Mr. President says “we produce what we eat and eat what we produce.”

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, some of the policies implemented to grow the economy are directed at retaining and creating jobs, using labour intensive methods in key areas such as agriculture, facility maintenance and housing.  Others are undertaking growth enhancing and job creating infrastructural investment in rail, roads, bridges, solar power and communication technology. Manufacturing and local production at all levels was promoted and measures were put in place for the protection of   the very poor and vulnerable groups. The result of these measures is evident in the recent GDP growth for Q2 put at 5.01%. This indicates that the Nigerian economy is on a path to a strong recovery.

Distinguished Gentlemen of the Press the task of organizing a Summit of this magnitude has never been easy. This is the more reason why your support and cooperation in ensuring that the Summit get the much-needed publicity is solicited.

In conclusion let me use this opportunity to appreciate the contributions of the various corporate organization and Government institutions that have provided support and those who have made commitment towards the successful hosting of the Summit. They have remained reliable partners.

The tireless efforts of members of the Joint Planning Committee (JPC) are also worthy of commendation. I urge you all not to relent until a successful Summit is delivered.

I thank you for your kind attention.