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Economic Summit: Experts want government to focus on power

15 October 2015, 18:09

Abuja - Some experts on Wednesday identified power sector as an area the Federal Government needed to urgently build to achieve competitiveness.

The experts made the resolution at the design workshop on "Creating and Sustaining Nigeria’s Competitive Advantage", a sideline event at the 21st Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja.

The experts said Nigeria had strong potential for comparative advantage which could be converted into competitiveness in power and vocational skill.

Dr Fiyinfolu Oladiran, a facilitator of the workshop, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the experts believed that with right focus, policies and allocation of resources, the country would achieve competitiveness.

"We (Nigeria) are going to compete with the best of countries in these sectors identified and as a country that wants to achieve inclusive growth; we need to focus on sectors that will create employment.

"The group felt that manufacturing and agriculture sectors will create employment and these sectors will help the country to earn foreign exchange.

"If you look out at the economy now, only 14 per cent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from oil so already we are working on diversification,’’ he said.

The facilitator, however, noted that diversifying of export had been a major challenge of the economy, explaining that Nigeria growth had been consumption.

"The economy has been internal and domestic; we have not gotten to the area of diversifying our export yet and that effort will help the country to achieve competitiveness,’’ he said.

According to him, experts have argued that in order to drive the national competitiveness, massive reforms and investment are needed in five key sectors.

He listed the sectors to include agro-allied industries; metal and solid mineral; oil and gas value chain; construction, light and manufacturing and service (ICT and entertainment).

Also read: Air carrier secures deal for Nigeria Economic Summit

Earlier, Laoye Jaiyeola, Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Economic Summit Group, said the theme: "Tough Choices: Achieving Competitiveness, Inclusive Growth and Sustainability ’’ was apt.

He said that the choice of the theme was predicated on the fact that in the recent 2014 rebasing, Nigeria emerged as Africa’s foremost economic power.

"The rebasing with an estimated GDP of 536 billion dollars (which has surpassed the economy of South Africa; accounts for almost 50 per cent of the GDP of West Africa) our growth in the last decade has remained non-inclusive.

According to him, some of symptoms include high unemployment rate, high level of poverty and low developmental indices ranking.

NES has become the largest and most prestigious annual economic forum for policy makers and captains of industries from the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.

It also provides opportunity for participants to interact and share thoughts on key issues and challenges facing the Nigerian economy, to evolve a common strategy and policy framework for addressing them.



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