Nigerian Economic Summit opens in Abuja


Resource mobilisation and the price mechanism are among the key issues to be examined as the 14th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES 14) begins today in Abuja.


This year\'s summit with the theme: \"The Race to 2020: The realities, the possibilities\", ends on Friday, October 24, 2008.


According to the organisers, the summit, to be opened by President Umaru Musa Yar\'Adua, will also x-tray posers such as:


* \"In this new era, where countries like India, China and (Dubai) United Arab Emirates are destinations for investments from all over the world, what will Nigeria do to attract resources and capital?

* \"How can we ensure that our market stays competitive and responsive to appropriate price signal? How do we price utilities in a way to attract and mobilise capital flows to Nigeria?

* \"How do we replicate the successful telecoms frame-work in other basic infrastructures like power and transportation and so forth and yet generate more revenue for building local industries, which ensure that investors have appropriate returns on their investments?

* \"What mechanism can be adopted to ensure that prices of public utilities are competitive enough to attract the right kind of investments?\"


The Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) stressed that \"the journey to 2020 can be accelerated if Nigeria develops an effective frame-work for mobilising global resources through effective pricing.\"


Nigeria\'s attempts at economic development have been managed largely by the military, which governed for the greater part of the years of her existence as an independent country.


In this regard, the military was ineffective, resulting in stunted economic growth and an operating environment, which was neither conducive to private investment nor to sustainable development.


Against the background of declining economic fortunes, it became obvious that unless urgent measures in the context of a national vision were put in place, Nigeria would never be able to realise her full potentials.


Shortly after he was appointed as Head of the Interim Government in January 1993, Chief Ernest Shonekan convened the first Nigerian Economic Summit (NES 1) the next month (February). The summit brought together key managers from the private sector and senior government officials for a three-day discourse on how to tackle Nigeria\'s economic problems.


The success of the first summit and the sudden realisation that it was possible for the private sector to co-operate and dialogue with the public sector led to a wider participation in later ones.


Subsequently, a core group of participants from the first summit developed a more formalised private sector structure, which formed the basis of the present NESG. The NESG was incorporated in 1996 as a company limited by guarantee. - Guardian



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