NEWS FOCUS: NES#26 Summit: Building partnerships for resilience 

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By Shola Ogunniyi

Amid the worldwide turbulences foisted by coronavirus, which is still manifesting on the world health with huge implications for the global economy in general and the Nigerian economy in particular, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, a private sector led think- tank and policy advocacy, will hold its 26th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES #26) in October 2020.

The NES is an annual event that brings together leaders and people from both private and public sectors to discuss the burning and topical issues that center on the economy of Nigeria.  It is jointly organized by the NESG and in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

According to the NESG, the Summit is a major gathering of high-level public and private sectors in Abuja, the Nation’s capital, for constructive dialogue.  The theme of the last edition (#NES 25), which took place in October 2019 was “Nigeria 2050: Shifting Gears”.

The discussion was on three scenarios for Nigeria as she approaches 2050. The scenarios are: Nigeria Stagnates, Nigeria Rises and Nigeria Fails. One of the scenarios will surely play out, but for the future stability and existence of Nigeria, the best scenario for her is to rise and the rise will foster an atmosphere of socio-economic stability, growing employment, output, social justice, fairness, security, religious harmony and peace.

The theme of the NES#26 is Building Partnerships for Resilience.  The theme is instructive as no time are solid partnerships required now than before. A strong resilience is very key and required in Nigeria in this trying period.

The NESG says this year edition will form part of ‘Big Conversation for Action’ that reflects on the state of the economy, rethink our fundamentals, and deliberate on the impact of the global pandemic. It will highlight the role of Nigeria’s sub nationals as frontiers for national development; explore emerging trends in the horizon that will enable Nigeria to capitalize on new opportunities.

The big conversation for action will also agree on a compact with clear and decisive actions that commit stakeholders to collaborate and build resilience for Nigeria’s households, businesses and economy by ensuring that Nigeria meets SDGs by 2030.

The sessions at the event will be anchored on five sub-themes, which are: mapping the future;
new trends, new opportunities, new horizons; embracing technology and innovation; building resilience; and charting the path to recovery.

There will be four plenaries, four design workshops, eleven high-level panels and four CEO roundtables. The Summit speakers are drawn from both public and private sectors including the academia.

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) is expected at the event. Other speakers are the Vice President , His Excellency Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (GCON), the Senate President, Senator Dr Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, the Speaker of  House of Representatives, Right Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed,  Dr Kayode Fayemi , Ekiti State Governor, the Minister of State Finance, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, the Chairman of the Board of NESG , Mr Asue Ighodalo, Founder and Chairman ANAP foundation , Mr Atedo Peterside (CON) , Mr Abdulsamad Rabiu, Chairman , BUA Group; Ms Funke Opeke, Founder/CEO , Mainone Cable Company ; Ms Jesmin Rahman, IMF Mission Chief to Nigeria, Mr Oscar N. Onyeama, CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Prof. Justin Yifu Lin, Professor of Economics, National School of Development, Peking University, China, Mrs Bola Adesola, Board Vice Chair, United Nations Global Compact, Ms Gargee Ghosh, Director of Development Policy and Finance, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other top captains of industries in private sector and other distinguished reform-driven Nigerians , home and abroad.

The event, which will take place on October 26 and 27, 2020, will be a hybrid one that combines both in-person and virtual attendance. The in-person will take place at Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. The NES is a paid event.

Coming at an inauspicious time for the Nigerian economy, the Summit is expected to nudge the policy makers to choose the paths of sustainable growth, build resilience and form actionable partnerships that will move Nigeria and its economy markedly forward.

Shola Ogunniyi, a Risk Advisor, writes in from Lagos for THE CONCLAVE  (Twitter: @Obzzzy)

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