The event will hold in May 2014.
The Federal Government on Monday said it relished the right conferred on Nigeria to host the 24th World Economic Forum, WEF, scheduled for May 2014 in Abuja.
The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy,Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said at the WEF media launch event in Abuja that recent achievements by the Federal Government in the economy through the various reform initiatives were the main factors that inspired the decision to select Nigeria as the host of the 24th WEF on Africa.
“Nigeria is honoured to be chosen as host for the important meeting for the 25-year old organization. We are delighted that the event
would bring together top Chief Executive Officers and Heads of Government to forge an understanding with the private sector towards a partnership to ensure jobs creation and improved standard of living of the people in a particular country,” the minister said.
The Minister, who spoke on the preparations being made by the Federal Government to ensure a successful event in Nigeria next year,
identified the country’s macroeconomic stability, successful implementation of the power sector privatisation, reforms in the agricultural sector, economic stability, inflation rate coming down, strong foreign reserve to underpin the economy, robust growth rate, sustained single digit inflation rate and other initiatives to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth of the economy as key reasons why Nigeria was given the right to host the event.
Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said the event, which would dwell on the theme; ‘Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs’ would enable business leaders globally to come to Nigeria and see first-hand what was achieved under the present administration’s economic scorecard with a view to further enabling them to take investment decisions on the
“It is very clear the reason why Nigeria has been chosen to host this conference and the reason is that they find it very captivating the
developments that are happening in the Nigerian economy. The whole power sector privatisation is one that has never really been seen anywhere, and so they are fascinated by that whole process the way it was done openly and transparently, the investors it has brought in a lot of foreign companies willing to invest.
“They (investors) are interested in what is happening in the agriculture sector; they are interested in our housing sector that would soon be launched, and in various other opportunities. Let us not forget the manufacturing sector, consumer goods industry and even the creative industry, the opportunities that are present for people to invest,” she said.
Noting that theme of the conference titled: “Forging Inclusive Growth and Creating Job,” was in line with President Goodluck Jonathan’s agenda for economic development and diversification of the economy, Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala said prospective participants would look forward to finding out how the government works and what the key things were.
She noted that despite the achievements in key performance areas in the country’s economy, the economy still faced the challenges of
creating jobs, dealing with unemployment and eradication of poverty. The Minister also maintained that despite the Boko Haram menace in some parts of the country, available statistics showed that insecurity was not seriously impacting negatively on foreign direct investment, FDI, inflows to the economy, as global investors were well informed about the available investment opportunities and what government was doing to ensure safety of investments.
The Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Nwanze Okidegbe, said the theme of the Forum was consistent with the Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government anchored on the pillars of fiscal consolidation, economic growth, and job creation. Consequently, he said a steering committee comprising government functionaries and some representatives of the private sector has been constituted, supported by a WEF Secretariat, headed by the Director General, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, NESG, with the mandate to coordinate the effective organization of the Forum.
If the world comes to Nigeria, the Chief Economic Adviser said, they would see the level of economic activities going on here; pointing out that there would be increased foreign direct investment to the
Nigeria would be first country to host the regional forum in West Africa.