The 25th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit, #NES25, opens on Monday with participants from all sectors of the economy aiming to set a new agenda for Nigeria.
Organisers said the summit, which will also celebrate its Silver jubilee, will mark a critical strategic shift for Nigeria to become a competitive private sector economy by 2050.
The theme of #NES25 will be “Nigeria 2050: Shifting Gears.”
“Only a competitive private sector economy can help Nigeria achieve a high standard of living and economic prosperity for all Nigerians in 2050,” the NESG Chief Executive Officer, Laoye Jaiyeola, said.
The summit began on Sunday with the Start-Up Pitching event in Abuja, with young entrepreneurs pitching their ideas on various business opportunities, including tackling food waste in Africa.
As part of the summit, the organisers said about 12 different design workshops will begin on Monday, with issues on macroeconomic stability, investments, technology and innovation as well as reinventing government as the main focus.
Mr Jaiyeola said discussions will be anchored on four sub-themes, namely achieving rapid industrialization, transforming education, managing demography, and sustainable peace and security.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said #NES25 will focus on the pillars of the country’s ‘4th Industrial Revolution.’
Mrs Ahmed said the summit was a unique opportunity to continue engagement between the public and private sectors on the Nigerian economy.
“It provided a timely opportunity for a national economic review and created a consensus amongst all Nigerians on the need to ensure that Nigerians take advantage of the opportunities that exist to increase productivity and create jobs,” she said.
She said this year’s theme will emphasise the imperatives for the country’s move to a more robust competitive private sector economy.
Also, participants will discuss the implications of about 65 per cent of the country’s projected population of over 400 million by 2050 being under the age of 35.
Priority will be given to those already doing business for not more than three to five years and seeking to raise needed funds.
The minister said selection will be based on innovativeness, market size and diversity.
“This year’s Summit would be setting a new agenda for Nigeria to key into the 4th Industrial Revolution as the Summit Sub-themes will focus on achieving rapid industrialization; transforming education and managing demography,” she said.
Event panelists Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; Founder, The Kukah Centre, Matthew Kukah, Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, Kayode Fayemi, and the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi II.
Others include the Managing Director/CEO, Nestle Nigeria Plc, Mauricio Alarcon; Chairman, Africa Initiative for Governance, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhouede; CEO, GIG Group, Chidi Ajaere; Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and Country Director, World Bank Group, Rachid Benmessaoud.
The Executive Director, YIAGA Africa, Samson Itodo; Chairman, First Bank Limited, Ibukun Awosika, CEO, Jumia Nigeria, Juliet Anammah will also participate in the summit among others from public and private sectors of the economy.