Friday, January 17, 2019 10.00AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV
One of Nigeria’s leading print media groups Vanguard Newspapers, today hosted the third edition of its economic discourse in Lagos.
It brought together economists, financial analysts, industry leaders, politicians, the academia, business leaders, bank executives, media executives and students.
Giving the opening the remarks the Editor-In-Chief of Vanguard newspapers, Mr Gbenga Adefaye said the theme of the event captured the fact that the globe is moving away from infrastructure to human capital development.
Quoting the outgoing World Bank President Kim Yong Jim, Mr Adefaye stressed that Nigeria must scale its investments in sectors like education and health to improve its Human Development Index.
Looking at the theme “Human Development Index and Economic Growth: Nigeria’s Policy Options” keynote speaker Mr Fola Adeola who is the Chairman of Fate foundation, debunked the claim that growing the economy can lead to human capital development in a country.
Speaking on the state of the nation, Adeola highlighted the following as the realities facing Nigeria namely;
Mr Adeola further stated that any national agenda developed in the country, must seek to address social issues affecting the citizens.
He also listed the following twelve (12) social evils that Nigeria must tackle to make significant progress as a nation;
Mr Adeola noted that part of the ways Nigeria can also improve its Human Development Index is investing massively in primary education and targeted tertiary education, that develops skills and talents that will be globally competitive.
Looking at the way forward he stressed the need for Nigeria to identify the social issues, explore specific interventions, look at the resources required and ways of measuring successes from policies in the country.
It featured a robust panel session with seasoned economists, bankers and analysts discussing the theme of the event.
Mr Ifie Sekibo Managing Director, Heritage Bank making his contribution established the fact that banks in Nigeria have been exposed to the energy and oil sectors, to the tune of 35%.
He believed regulatory constraints must be addressed to unlock the opportunities in the financial services industry.
Dr Peter Obiozor a chief economist with the Nigeria Labour Congress believed Nigeria should learn from Brazil, where the former President Lula Inacio Da Silva led a social policy plan that uplifted millions in the country from poverty.
Mr Muda Yusuf Director-General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry sharing his perspective said to attract more investments in the education and health sectors, the Federal Government should review its policies.
He made a case for tax holidays for the investors in the health and education sectors, which will enable them to increase their investments and complement the role of government.
For Dr Doyin Salami an economist and lecturer at the Lagos Business School Nigeria must achieve double-digit growth in the next 10 years, to avoid social crisis.
Dr Salami said Nigeria needs governance that ensures the people can see opportunities in a secured environment, with a view to driving a productive economy.
The 3rd edition of the Vanguard economic discourse event was Chaired by former Minister for National Planning Dr Shamsuddeen Usman and had as compere Mr Olufemi Awoyemi CEO, Proshare.