By Tola Akinmutimi
The federal government on Wednesday said that only a competitive private sector can drive the type of economic growth Nigeria required to improve the standard of living and economic prosperity for its projected 400 million population by year 2050.
Umakhihe, while inaugurating the committee, said that the projection by the United Nations that Nigeria’s population will hit 410 million by 2050 had serious implications for the nation’s economic growth and overall development.
The permanent secretary, therefore, harped on the imperative for governments and other economic stakeholders to be working towards mobilising and attracting the needed investments, develop and deploy the human capital to achieve higher productivity and adopt appropriate policies to guarantee the attainment of a globally competitive and inclusive economy.
He said: “The lifespan of the ERGP (2017-2020) will end next year. It has become imperative to look at future and simulate long-term economic plans for the country.
“It is clear however that Nigeria must shift gears to an economy led by a private sector that can compete regionally and globally. In order words, only a competitive private sector led economy can achieve a rising standard of living and economic prosperity for more than 400 million Nigerians in 2050”, Umakhihe added.
Jaiyeola noted that with Nigeria edging closer to ending the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and Nigeria Vision 20:2020 policy blueprint next year, there was the need for long term vision to be developed for the country.
He clarified: “Without strategic visioning and a long term national development agenda, Nigeria runs the risk of worsening economic and developmental indicators on the one hand; and missing 2050 development targets on the other.
“The imperative for this comes on the back of forecasts that indicate that Nigeria’s population will double in 2050.
“It is therefore against this backdrop that I humbly present a call to action for us all to further strengthen the existing partnership between government and the private sector in order to chart a sustainable course of action in the national interest.
“I am confident that this partnership will produce the outcomes and impacts that will set Nigeria on the path of becoming a globally competitive economy in the shortest possible time”, the economic expert added.