The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ms Catriona Laing, said on Wednesday that the UK government has launched a $100 million program through the First Bank of Nigeria as direct financing for women-owned businesses in Nigeria.
Laing, unveiled this at the Innovation Center hosted by the ongoing Gender and Inclusion Summit, (PIC), an initiative of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Abuja.
She said the investment is part of the implementation of the UK's three Its projects, namely Educate Girls, Empower Women and End Violence Against Women and Girls.
“The UK has three areas that focus on Gender. The three Es included educating girls, empowering women, and ending violence against women and girls.
“The UK has been working on education for decades, particularly in north east Nigeria where we have helped 1.4 million more girls to go to school.
“On the empowerment side, we recently launched a $100 million program through Nigeria's first bank that will direct funding specifically to women-owned businesses,” she said.
Laing explained that gender rights are basic human rights and everyone is entitled to them, but there are social norms, religious norms and behavioral norms that are used as excuses for not advancing gender equality.
According to her, they were also digitizing humanitarian services and cash transfers so that women can receive money directly into their bank account, which gives them more empowerment.
In addition, Mary Beth Leonard, US Ambassador to Nigeria, also called on the Nigerian government and international partners to prioritize streamlining policies to close gender parity gaps.
He reiterated that the US government prioritizes gender activity, which is why it invests more than $200 billion annually to program gender and equality activities globally.
“In Nigeria, the US mission works to promote an environment that supports women's success and addresses the challenges that hold women back and empower Nigerian women to do the same.
“The upcoming 2023 elections present a critical opportunity to include more women in leadership positions in government.
“And we encourage women to not only vote on Election Day, but also to consider running for office at all levels of government in future elections.
“This campaign season presents an opportunity to push candidates to prioritize policies and legislation for women and girls,” she said.
In addition, Alexandre Borges-Gomes, deputy head of the European Union delegation in Nigeria, said that less than 50 percent of women in Nigeria have paid jobs compared to 76 percent of men, according to a recent survey.
For her part, Dr. Osasuyi Dirisu, PIC Deputy Director, explained that the organization works in various policy areas such as official and digital inclusion, health, human capital, gender and social policy, accountability and transparency.
Dirisu added that in the last year, PIC initiated projects to harness behavioral insights, sustainable and inclusive digital transformation, assessment of context and behavioral drivers of learning poverty, and outcomes for "at-risk" children ( inside and outside of school).
“We are here at the summit and we hope to institutionalize and have the opportunity for stakeholders to come together to have a real conversation about gender and advance cause to improve gender equality in Nigeria,” she said.
News Agency Nigeria reports several plenary sessions and presentations on Reimagining Inclusion for Social Development: Youth Perspectives, Access to Justice for GBV Survivors.
Source Credit: NAN
Stakeholders have resolved to adopt and inculcate a behavior change approach among citizens to promote transparency and accountability in the country's public and private sectors.
They made the commitment during a special session on "Harnessing Behavioral Insights to Counter Corruption" organized by the Innovation Center (PIC), an initiative of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG).
Ms. Olubukola Balogun, board member of the Independent Commission on Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes (ICPC) highlighted the need to move from a criminal justice approach to leveraging behavior change to address corruption .
“Government policies will focus the fight against corruption in other areas beyond law and order.
“There are sanctions, system studies, but everything has to be promoted because even if you have your sanctions, you have your system, it is society that is going to make the tools work.
“That is why we want to work in society with the help of our development partners. The Government has approved the national ethics and integrity policy,” she said.
According to her, the ethics and integrity policy has seven main core values, which drive advocacy for behavior change in the fight against corruption.
“We are going through these valleys throughout the country through meetings with traditional and religious leaders, youth groups and women around the six geopolitical zones and we have gone to 21 states.
“We are advocating that we should all go back to the drawing boards and get our value rights in society.
“All behaviors that are illegal let them out. It is for our common good so that we can have a shared prosperity and we can all get it right and get it right,” he said.L-R: Waziri Adio, Founder/CEO, Agora Policy; Olubukola Balogun, Honorary Board Member, Independent Commission on Corrupt Practices (ICPC); Philip Mshelbila, Managing Director/CEO, Nigeria LNG Limited; Kole Shettima, country director, MacArthur Foundation; Osasuyi Dirisu, Deputy Director, Policy Innovation Center (PIC); Akinwumi Akinola, Senior Analyst, PIC; Friday Odeh, Country Director, Accountability Lab at an interactive panel on 'Harnessing Behavioral Insights to Counter Corruption' held on the sidelines of the Nigerian Economic Summit 28 (NES 28) in Abuja
Also speaking, Dr. Osasiyi Dirisu, Deputy Director of the Policy Innovation Center (PIC) said that the meeting was organized to enlighten public and private stakeholders on the different dimensions of using behavioral science to address behavioral practices. corrupt.
Dirisu said the three-year PIC program was funded by the foundation to take lessons from behavioral science and use them to work on improving accountability and transparency within different sectors in Nigeria.
“We meet with government CSOs, NGOs and MDAs and support them to start thinking differently about interventions that will work for accountability and transparency.
“We came together to co-create what the solutions would look like and then developed a four-sided cause training program on using behavioral insights to support accountability and transparency programs.
“We train organizations to think differently and help them improve the effectiveness of the work they do.
“The next phase is to work with organizations to design solutions that they will re-implement in society using lessons from behavioral science that reflect some of those solutions.
“We will test them and see which ones work and start supporting best practices for accountability and transparency programs in Nigeria,” he said.
reports that Nigeria's National Anti-Corruption Strategy (2017-2021) recommends public participation as a strong pillar to reduce corruption.
Source Credit: NAN
L-R: Sadiq Usman, Director, Nigeria Flour Mill; Rushman Murtaza, Deputy Representative, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); Sola Afolayan, National Coordinator, Multidimensional Poverty Index; Semiu Adeniran, General Statistician of the Federation; Yosola Akinbi, National Coordinator, Core Task Force on Human Capital Development at an interactive panel on 'Multidimensional Poverty' hosted by the SDG Forum on the sidelines of the Nigerian Economic Summit 28 (NES 28) in Abuja
Stakeholders have advised incoming governments after the 2023 general elections to align and sustain national development plans and interventions to end poverty and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They made the call during the special session of the High Level Forum on the SDGs at the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES 28) on the theme "Multidimensional Poverty", organized by the Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Abuja.
Mr. Adeyemi Adeniran, General Statistician of the Federation and Executive Director of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), said that discussions are taking place with political parties to ensure the continuity and sustainability of the programmes.
Adeniran added that the National Poverty Index (NPI) will guide national planning to align with projects and programs.
“The government is making plans through the national assembly, legislative arms in sync with Nigeria's action plan 2021-2025.
“The legacies that the current regime will leave for the incoming government in this medium-term National Development Plan, as well as in the 2050 National Action Plan.
"There are discussions between the government and all the political parties that whoever enters assumes the priority of the government's National Development Plan," he said.
He added that the NPI will also help the government unify MDAs to work to address the rate of gender inequality, unemployment and underemployment, improve access to healthcare and education.
“There are so many programs aimed at addressing the issue of multidimensional poverty.
“The government is looking at both the federal and state levels in terms of health, nutrition, productivity, young Nigerians in general.
“Putting them together and looking at the Nigerian National Development Programmes, 2021-2025, where the government has indicated passion to lift 34 million Nigerians out of poverty by 2025.
“All of these are aimed at eradicating multidimensional poverty by the government,” he said.
He added that the NBS would release the 2022 NPI results and poverty situation room/lab with full details and data on poverty on Thursday.
In addition, Rush Murtaza, UNICEF Deputy Representative, said that the evidence and data would help rethink and make investment plans to address the challenges affecting children in Nigeria.
Martaza emphasized the need to use the available data to plan and invest in policies and interventions that address the challenges that affect children, especially in regards to health, education, and nutrition.
“UINCEF is an integral part of generating this data, we have invested heavily and have been looking at overlapping multidimensional child poverty.
“That we use another methodology but now with the NPI, we have introduced and invested in a chapter to see what happens to a child within the home.
“Children, whether they have access to education, health care and other deprivations they face.
“It's a critical path, but it will give us an understanding of what's happening in the states of children's situation, then we can make the investment accordingly,” he said.
According to her, the NPI will also allow interested parties to know specific areas to channel resources and interventions towards poverty alleviation.
For his part, Mr. Sadiq Usman, Director of Flour Mills, Nigeria, linked multidimensional poverty in Nigeria to global forces such as the Russia-Ukraine war, which he said affected the global market and commodities and resulted in food insecurity. .
He said the only way to tackle poverty in Nigeria is through creating economic resources for people through skills and taking a private center approach to creating job opportunities.
Source Credit: NAN
Mr Pascal Dozie
A Nigerian businessman, Mr. Pascal Dozie, urged Nigerians to set an agenda for the incoming leaders after the 2023 general election, to achieve a bigger country.
Dozie, who is the founder of the defunct Diamond Bank and president of Pan Atlantic University, had this to say in his keynote speech at the ongoing National Economic Summit in Abuja.
The title of his article was “The Nigeria We Need”.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the annual two-day summit, hosted by the Economic Summit Group (NESG), is themed "Shared Prosperity: 2023 and Beyond."
According to Dozie, democratically established, rule-based systems of government are more durable than other forms of government.
He called on the Federal Government to "depersonalize" the playing field of the institutions and make it attractive to local and foreign investors.
“Ours is an economy that badly needs a positive regulatory environment that is driven by the private sector and improves business,” he said.
He called for the deployment of more inclusive and development-enabling institutions instead of "economic extractives."
He said: “While inclusive institutions grant equal rights and allow equal opportunity, Extractive Economic Institutions (EEI) allow the elite to rule, exploit and extract wealth from those who are not in the elite.
“In these circumstances, the IAS hinder national cohesion and development, with the consequent debilitating effect on the cohesion and development of society,” he said.
He called for a comprehensive review of the Land Use Act, which he described as the "most debilitating extractive economic institution" that has allowed powerful Nigerians to allocate private and communal land to each other.
“In the process, citizens are denied their heritage, with the consequent negative impact on agricultural community farmers, poverty alleviation and wealth creation.
“In this circumstance, after more than four decades of unintended negative consequences, the time has come for a comprehensive review and amendment of the Land Use Law,” he said.
Dozie said that Nigerian politics are crying out for solutions to the insecurity that plagues the country.
According to him, as a fundamental principle of nationality, regardless of the cost, we must decisively confront threats to national security in an intelligent, transparent, responsible and coordinated manner.
He also called on the federal government and Nigerian citizens to ensure that the upcoming 2023 elections are free, fair and peaceful.
“While economic and social infrastructure play an important role in crystallizing development, freedom of choice and the associated 'soft issues' are inalienable rights and therefore fundamental to human development and sustainability.
“The Nigeria we need is one that is imagined, negotiated and agreed upon by parents.
“A secular, federal, democratic Nigerian nation is a state where relevant groups mutually agree to the rules of engagement on an equal footing, where ethnic groups may differ, but respect each other and take advantage of the good in each other,” he said.
Source Credit: NAN
Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Ms. Zainab Ahmed says the country is currently finalizing the "Nigeria 2050 Agenda" to succeed Vision 2020, which expired two years ago.
Ahmed said this on Monday in Abuja, at the 28th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES).
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the theme of the pis year issue is "2023 and beyond: priorities for shared prosperity."
According to the minister, the government previously formulated the National Development Plan (PND), 2021-2025 to succeed the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (ERGP), 2017-2020.
“We are in the second year of the NDP, 2021-2025 with the private sector at the helm.
“Though challenged on revenue, the government has upheld its pact statements in favor of ongoing critical infrastructure projects in the energy, highway, railway, agriculture, health and education sectors.
“This is with a view to strengthening the Nigerian economy after the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
The minister said that resources were being mobilized with less emphasis on oil revenues.
He said that funding for the 2021-2025 NDP would largely depend on domestic resource mobilization from non-oil revenue sources through the results of the Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI) and the Fice Acts.
“This will further enhance and diversify government revenue and entrench fiscal prudence and value for money,” he said.
Ahmed said the theme of this year's NES was carefully chosen to provide guidance for stakeholders to examine the progress the current government has made in delivering the NDP, 2021-2025.
He said that the Nigeria 2050 Agenda, which would be inaugurated soon, seeks to raise the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita of the country to 33,000 dollars.
Ahmed praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his continued support for the NESG over the past seven years.
He said the collaboration between the finance ministry and the group had provided the platform for regular dialogue and engagement with the private sector and other stakeholders.
Edited. eniola williams
Source Credit: NAN
The Federal Government on Thursday launched the Digital Economy Industry Working Group (DEIWG) to facilitate the digital economy agenda.
Prof. Isa Pantami,Minister, Communications and Digital Economy inaugurated the group at the closing ceremony of the Digital Nigeria Conference and Exhibition organised by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in Abuja.
Pantami,while inaugurating the group,charged the members to ensure the digital economy agenda was achieved through their efforts in line with the desire of President Muhammadu Buhari.
He further said that Nigeria was doing well in the Ease of Doing Business in spite of the challenges which the government was working seriously to address.
According to the Minister,reducing the challenges on the Ease of Doing Business will ensure the success of the recent Nigerian Start-up Act(NSA) approved by Buhari on Oct. 19. Pantami said: “When the administration of Buhari started,the global ranking of Nigeria on the Ease of Doing Business was 170, but recently we have moved 39 steps higher to 131. “The government had initiated and implemented over 160 reforms and registering a business in Nigeria now takes less than 48 hours.
” He added that the ministry would in the near future inaugurate a committee for the swift implementation of the NSA.
Dr Femi Adeluyi, Technical Assistant (Research & Development) to the minister said the group was formed as an action group established as a Public Private Dialogue platform.
Adeluyi said the platform comprised of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group(NESG) and the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy,championed through close working relationship between the public and private sector leaders in the ICT industry.
Adeluyi said the group was designed to map out government initiatives and policies affecting the private sector as it pertains to the digital economy and ensure the growth of the digital industry in the country.
He said the objectives of the DEIWG would be to create framework for strengthening the immediate delivery of initiatives based on the eight pillars as outlined in the Nigerian Digital Economic Policy and Strategy (2020-2030).
“They will facilitate the creation of an Enterprise Programmes Management Office (EPMO) and funding mechanism which will serve as a framework of funding for DEIWG Secretariat.
“The group will formulate, in partnership with the government, mechanisms that drive and catalyse growth and increase investments in the Digital Economy.
“They will examine the current efforts by the Federal Government to digitally transform through policies, projects and programmes and co-create a private sector response plan.
“Facilitate leadership mindset that is digital-driven for Shared Prosperity and Shared National Vision and drive continuity of the policies and enhance the institutional arrangement to drive the Digital Economy,” he said.
Adeluyi added that the group would call to action for private sector to take lead of the creation of the Nigeria Digital Economy showcasing the opportunities in the E-Government Masterplan and Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.
The DEIWG has the Minister as the Chairman, Mallam Kashifu Inuwa,Director-General of NITDA as well as other Chief Executives of agencies under the ministry as members.
Members from the private sector include Mr Laoye Jaiyeola,Chief ExecutiveOfficerof NESG,as Private Sector Co-Chair and Ms Funke Opeke of MainOne,Mr Sim Shagaya of uLesson,among others.
Meanwhile, Director-General of NITDA,Mallam Kashifu Inuwa,said that the government would take into cognisance issues discussed at the conference,adding that the government was a listening one.
Inuwa encouraged participants and the youth, while promising that the government was willing to work with the youth to make Nigeria a global talent factory.
“We have reviewed our potential during the conference and have understood that for us to create wealth,it has to be through innovation,”he said.
The D-G added that stakeholders needed to work within the legal framework and keep supporting the government towards achieving a digital economy because the political will and talent were available.
The Nigeria Election Debate Group (NEDG) says it will engage political parties’ presidential candidates on a presidential economy debate, beginning on Nov. 15.
Mr Eddie Emessiri, the NEDG Executive Secretary, disclosed this at a news conference on Friday in Abuja to announce the proposed debate to the public.
He said the conference was also to garner support, build affinity with critical stakeholders and stimulate interest in participation.
Emessiri expressed optimism that such debates would enable the electorate make informed decisions at the polls that would evolve leaders that would positively transform the country in the interest of all.
He said candidates who would feature in the debate, would be selected from opinion poll results conducted to allow public input which was already ongoing.
“The final list with the names of selected candidates and the methodology for the selection process will be announced on Nov. 8, a week before the first debate,” he said.
On funding, he said the NEDG would sell advert space to big companies to advertise their products and services to cover the cost of operations.
According to him, because of finance and airtime, the NEDG will limit the number of presidential candidates to the four most popular ones, based on the poll results.
The NEDG executive scribe assured the candidates of a fair platform for engagement, saying that all stakeholders will be carried along.
Emessiri said the debate was designed to specifically provide a comprehensive and in-depth knowledge on the economic policies and agenda of various political party candidates seeking to be elected as the country’s next president in 2023. He said the NEDG and the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) were collaborating with support from some Civil Society Organisations to steer the initiative.
He added that the essence was to ensure that the electorate made informed decisions at the polls after listening to the candidates.
“This presidential debate on economic policy will serve as a launching pad to discuss the roadmap towards an inclusive and prosperous Nigeria.
“It is crucial, like never before, to nudge Nigerians towards making informed voting choices that would produce leaders who would transform our country with the sagacity and political will that will steer our nation towards shared economic prosperity,’’ he said.
He said the debate scheduled to hold at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, was part of the initiative towards sensitising stakeholders and citizens on peaceful, informed and accountable democratic participation.
He said the debate would seek to address the state of the economy, the concerns of the citizens to choose from among the presidential candidates and other related leadership positions.
He explained that the NEDG, the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON) and their civil society partners would host three other debates.
This, he said, would deal with other important issues to help the electorate have a better understanding of how the candidates were prepared to keep the country on the path of prosperity.
“During these debates, the candidates will be taken closer to the electorate in the South-West, South-South and North-West geopolitical zones.
“They will discuss varying issues of national importance, such as foreign relations, governance structure, national defence and security, education, information technology and health, among others.
“Others would be discussed as the debates move from Abuja to Port Harcourt on December 15, Lagos on January 19, 2023, and Kano on February 16, 2023,’’ he said.
He said there would be nationwide broadcast of all the debates by members of BON, comprising all federal and state owned media outfits, including direct to home TV and cable stations.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NEDG is a coalition of broadcast organisations, civil society organisations and professional groups, who are committed to the deepening of democracy in Nigeria.
The NEDG is also committed to entrenching an enduring democratic culture through organised television debates since the return to democratic rule in Nigeria in 1999.
The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) on Thursday commended the Federal Government for steps taken so far to increase investors’ confidence in the economy.
It, however, urged it to do more for the betterment of the economy.
Chairman of the NESG, Mr Asuen Ighodalo, gave the commendation and the task in a statement he issued on Thursday in Abuja in which he stated that increased confidence would attract greater investments and accelerate economic growth.
Ighodalo commended Nigerian entrepreneurs for having faith in the nation’s economy and for continuing to invest in the country in spite of the difficult terrain.
He observed that Nigeria had experienced low foreign investors’ confidence in recent times, arising from a number of issues.
“The issues range from insecurity, foreign exchange scarcity, entrenched capital controls and an unfriendly business environment.
“In spite of these challenges, Nigerian entrepreneurs have continued to exhibit faith in the economy by investing in it.
“This is commendable and all hands should be on deck to ensure that the efforts of both foreign and domestic investors are not frustrated,’’ he stated.
Ighodalo noted that the proposed 2023 budget, which President Muhammadu Buhari submitted to the National Assembly, further amplified the need to attract both foreign and local investment to boost revenue.
“The budget shows a huge deficit that relies on the country’s ability to attract and mobilise both foreign and domestic capital.
“It is important to note that the Nigerian delegation to the on-going annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF would be expected to seek some support and attract much-needed foreign investments into the country.
“This is in addition to what the private sector is doing towards mobilising foreign investments,’’ he stated.
The NESG chairman commended the Federal Government for making concerted efforts to create the enabling environment for investment to thrive, while urging it to do more.
“We recognise the effort of the government towards improving the business environment; nevertheless, there is room for improvement.
“Thus, it is imperative for both the federal and state governments to work together towards ensuring improved ease of doing business and good governance practices.
“There is no better time to build investors’ confidence than now,’’ Ighodalo stated.
The Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) has advised the Federal Government and Nigerians to encourage local and foreign investors to stimulate economy. Mr Asue Ighodalo, the spokesperson of NESG Board of Directors, made the call in a statement issued in Lokoja, Kogi on Wednesday. The group’s statement, entitled “Building Investors Confidence: Wong Time For Missteps,” expressed concern about situations where local and foreign investors could be discouraged to invest for the benefits of the nation. Ighodalo explained that in recent times, Nigeria has experienced low foreign investors’ confidence. According to him, this arises from a number of issues ranging from insecurity, foreign exchange scarcity, entrenched capital controls and an unfriendly business environment. “But in spite of these challenges, Nigerian entrepreneurs have continued to exhibit faith in the economy by investing in the country. “This is commendable and all hands should be on deck to ensure that the efforts of foreign and domestic investors are not frustrated. “They should be encouraged to stimulate, build and and transform the economy. “The 2023 Appropriation Bill recently submitted to the National Assembly by the president shows a huge deficit that relies on the country’s ability to attract and mobilise foreign and domestic capital, ” he said. He noted thaIt Nigerian delegation to the ongoing annual meetings of the World Monetary Fund would be expected to seek some support and attract the much-needed foreign investments into the country. “Our inability as a nation to give the right signalling to investors will lead to subdued investment flows and capital flight which has a number of consequences. “The lack of investor confidence also implies that the cost of borrowing for both the government and corporates will increase. “Furthermore, the Nigerian government will be under pressure to service its debt and this could either constrain future budget non-debt expenditures or result in more borrowing,” he said. He noted that investment in critical sectors would drive economic recovery and sustain the growth momentum in the medium term. “Investments, both local and foreign, are often associated with job creation, technology, economic growth and the strive towards efficiency. “We recognise the effort of the government towards improving the business environment, nevertheless there is room for improvement. ” “Therefore, it is imperative for the federal and state governments to work together to ensure improved ease of doing business and good governance. “There is no better time to build investor’s confidence than now,” he said. NewsSourceCredit: NAN
Mr Ayo Ademilua, CEO A4&T has emerged President of the Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) during the Annual General Meeting of the Association in Lagos.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Executive Secretary of the Association, Mrs Salamatu Baba- Tunzwangyo, on Friday in Abuja.
According to the statement, Ademilua brings on board his astute business analysis skills with leadership intuition, expertise synonymous with excellence and growth.
“He also acquired requisite skills for renewable energy business from training and conferences locally and internationally, ” it stated.
It stated that the new President was a bridge builder with excellent business and people management skills and hopes to foster synergy amongst members and stakeholders in the renewable energy space.
“His vision for REAN is to promote unity, collaboration and partnerships among members ,that will catalyze the expansion of members’ business activities and drive the capacity building of members to enable equal access to global industry benefits.
“He is a member of the sustainability committee of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) consulting on matters relating to renewable energy generation and low carbon emission.
” The Association also announced other newly elected executive committee members including Mrs Damilola Asaleye who emerged as Vice President.
Others are Mrs Safiya Aliyu , Treasurer Chioma Ewurum ,Head of Communications, Mr Bassey Obeten emerged Head of Program and Partnerships among others.
The News Agency of NIgeria reports that the REAN is an independent, non-profit Industry association founded by stakeholders in the Renewable Energy sector in Nigeria.
REAN is dedicated to promoting the growth and development of the industry in Nigeria by engaging with the public and private sectors to guide advocacy, policy formulation, and investment in the sector