NEOC 2019 Conference Discusses Economic Reforms, Investments and Jobs in Nigeria

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Wednesday, January 16, 2019 06.00AM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for Proshare WebTV


 

The 3rd edition of the Nigeria Economic Outlook Conference hosted by Time Economics a leading research and strategy firm in Lagos, explored the theme “Reforms, Investments and Jobs”.

 

It brought together stakeholders in the economic, business, investments, financial market, capital market, policy and media space.

 

In his opening remarks the Convener of the conference and CEO, Time Economics Dr Ogho Okiti described the 2019 theme as  recognition of the current challenging legal and economic architecture of the country and its inability to provide prosperity for Nigerians in the medium to long term.

 

Dr Okiti noted that policy reforms are crucial to economic reforms and prosperity.

 

He cited China and India as the most recent examples of the potency of  a set of economic reforms, towards lowering the level of poverty, raising standards of living and driving innovation.

 

Okiti described the Pension Act in Nigeria, as evidence of economic reforms that could drive progress and reduce economic distortions.

 

The NEOC 2019 conference Convener Highlighted three reports that showed the reality of Nigeria’s challenges;

  • The June, 2018 Brookings report that showed Nigeria had overtaken India to become the country with the largest population of people living in extreme poverty.
  • The 2018 National Bureau of Statistics Q3, 2018 report which revealed that unemployment in the country was now +23.1% .
  • The 2018 Demographic Health Survey by the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Nigerian government report showing that the population of the out-of-school children has risen from 10.5million to 13.2 million.

 

Global Chief Economist for Renaissance Capital Mr Charles Robertson in his keynote address informed stakeholders that the major developments to watch out for in global markets in 2019 include;

  • The United States Federal Reserves raising of interest rates which will have adverse effects on emerging and frontier markets
  • United States-China trade war which is already hurting key markets and economic activities globally
  • International crude oil price and its movement during the year.

Looking at Nigeria’s economy, Robertson, repeated the need for the country to give priority to education, electricity and capital. investments.

 

Robertson said that these were the key drivers of industrialization, citing Vietnam as new markets that have focused on the these areas to become a strategic emerging economy.

 

The Renaissance economist stressed the need for Nigeria to take Adult literacy seriously, pushing ahead of the 70% required mark.

 

At the moment Nigeria according to Robertson measures poorly in the following ways;

 

Sector

Index

Electricity

139 KWH per hour

Education &  Literacy

60%

Investments

13% of GDP

Source: Rencap

 

He believes that Nigeria must work hard to improve these indicators, as a precursor to achieving full-scale industrialization.

 

According to him Nigeria has great prospects to be a $6trn economy by 2050 but this can only be attained if it adopts robust economic reforms.

 

The conference featured panel sessions that covered discussions around the economy, investment outlook, Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement and the business environment.



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