By Cynthia Ezekwe
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) has asked the federal government to target growing Nigeria’s gross domestic product to $9 trillion in the next 28 years.
Asue Ighodalo, chairman of NESG, said this at the 28th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit tagged ‘Shared Prosperity: 2023 and Beyond’ in Abuja.
Ighodalo said Nigeria Agenda 2050 must focus on turning Nigeria into the most thriving black country in the world, with a GDP per capita that is in line with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries by 2050.
“Based on current OECD indices, we would need to grow our GDP to somewhere between $4.5trn and $9trn – depending on whether we are able to remain at a population of around 220 million or continue to grow to the 450 million we have been projected to reach by 2050,” Ighodalo said.
The NESG boss said the government must begin to build an economy that is 10 to 20 times bigger than the current $440 billion economic size and set a target of growing the GDP at over 15 percent every year.
He also emphasized the need for the federal government to reduce the rate of borrowings and to identify appropriate mechanisms for handling inflation.
In his remarks, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said the government had already seen real improvements in the country’s non-oil revenues, hence the focus on productivity and value-addition.
Osinbajo pointed out the urgency to reduce the inflation rate in the country, noting that it destabilises the economy.
He also stated the need to increase local food production in line with the monetary measures being taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Zainab Ahmed, minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, said resources were being mobilised to strengthen the Nigerian economy.
She also disclosed that the government was focused on unlocking the economic potential of the non-oil and high employment-generating sectors to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth and development.
According to her, the agricultural sector is yielding results, leading to an improvement in net earnings of rural farmers to the sum of N174 billion in the areas of cassava, rice, sorghum, maize, and cotton production.
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