President Muhammadu Buhari said the federal government is responding to the challenges and opportunities of the moment by articulating forward-looking policies and strategies to achieve national goals.
Laolu Akande, senior special assistant to the president on media and advertising, office of the vice president, said in a statement Monday in Abuja.
The statement said the president, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, gave a virtual speech at the opening of the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit.
The theme of the summit is “Securing our future: the fierce urgency of the present”.
Mr Buhari said that in order to tackle existing problems and at the same time benefit from national and global trends, public and private sector stakeholders must take timely and immediate action.
Mr Buhari underscored the imperative of the summit theme, saying the theme is compelling as it underlines the importance of taking timely action to address existing issues while taking immediate action to address or capitalize on national trends. and global. .
According to him, the growth figures are meaningless if they do not translate into well-paying jobs and an improvement in the standard of living of our people.
“The question, of course, I insist, to be answered regarding all our policies, do they mean for the creation of wealth and the development of human capacities?
“The new plan incorporates aspects of the national poverty reduction and growth strategy which has been formulated as a guide to achieving our poverty reduction goal.
“The starting point for the implementation of the Strategy is the realization that increasing employment is an essential tool for reducing poverty.
“The federal government is responding to the challenges and opportunities of the moment by articulating forward-looking policies and strategies and by implementing a coherent, clear and cohesive set of actions to achieve our desired goals. “
The president said the general objectives of the new national medium-term development plan are to diversify the economy, invest in critical infrastructure, strengthen human capital and improve governance and security.
He said the intention was to achieve broad-based and inclusive GDP growth in order to create 21 million jobs and lift 35 million people out of poverty by 2025.
“This ambitious but achievable goal is in line with the government’s vision to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within a decade.
“The shock of the pandemic which is still very present here is that Nigeria, as a developing economy, is striving to become a digital economy so that we can jump into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“As if that were not enough, we also have an obligation, as a good member of the international community, to take action to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
“It is not a simple question if we keep in mind that we depend on oil and gas for our income and export earnings and yet reducing the use of fossil fuels is the front line strategy. necessary to achieve net carbon emissions by 2050. “
President Buhari listed some of the government interventions that he said have not yet materialized.
He said, however, that there was still a long way to go, especially in the context of our stated priorities to reduce poverty and unemployment.
Mr Buhari said the economic sustainability plan, ESP, adopted in response to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic, focused on tackling and reducing the number of COVID-19 cases, restoring growth, protecting and job creation, rescuing businesses and reducing social vulnerabilities. .
“These are in addition to the priority actions already undertaken in the economic recovery and growth plan to invest in social and human capital, build electrical, road and rail infrastructure and improve the business environment,” he said. -he declares.
He listed the achievements in the MSME space through the Survival Fund, adding that support is provided to exporters through the Export Expansion Facility program.
Mr Buhari also listed the labor-intensive interventions in agriculture, housing and solar power installations that are still ongoing.
For her part, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, praised the partnership with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group over the years.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, Asue Ighodalo, urged all stakeholders to support the federal government to secure Nigeria’s future.
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