By Favour Nnabugwu
The federal government has set a target of $33, 000 per capita income by year 2050, from the current level of $3, 500.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, made this known at the opening of the on-going Nigerian Economic Summit today
Ahmed said, “I am pleased to inform you that the draft Nigeria Agenda 2050 is being finalised and will be launched soon.
“The Plan seeks to increase the country’s per capita income to $33,000 by 2050 and place Nigeria amongst the rank of Upper Middle Income Countries.
“The Plan will be implemented by successive governments through Six, 5-Year Medium-Term National Development Plans and Annual Budgets.
“The Nigeria Agenda 2050 has a moral imperative to lower the poverty and unemployment rate significantly as this is the only way we can ensure sustainable broad-based growth”
According to Mrs. Ahmed, the government would renew the social contract with Nigerians and encourage the citizens to pay their taxes to enable government fund Programmes and projects.
She said that the federal government would consciously design Programmes and projects that would attract Diaspora Nigerians to invest at home.
Mrs. Ahmed added that the administration was focused on unlocking the economic potential of the non-oil and high employment generating sectors to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth and development.
Earlier in his address, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, said that the administration was review 18 laws and 10 policies considered as o stacked to the private sector businesses.
The minister said that the National Development Plan 2017-2025 paid particular attention to the diversification of the economy, amongst others.
His words, “The NDP 2021 – 2025 has a unique objective of establishing a strong foundation for a concentric economic diversification, implying that the economy had already been diversified but the focus of the Plan is to deepen the diversification effort within the sectors such that each sector could substantially increase its contribution to GDP and create more jobs.
“The Volume III deals with the legislative imperatives identified as binding constraints to Plan implementation and has identified 18 laws and 10 policies that constrained Plan implementation over the years.
” A Technical Working Team (TWT) comprising the Office of the President on Ease of Doing Business, relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and a renowned legal firm has been set-up to review these laws and policies with a view to enriching Plan implementation.”
In his Keynote address, one of the founding fathers of the NESG, Mr. Paschal Dozie, said that “the Nigeria we need” must be “truly federal”, not just in name but in reality.
He said that there the Exclusive and the Concurrent Lists should be reviewed to enable decentralization of government, with a real federal system, as obtained in other federal governments.
He added that the federal government should de-personalise institutions to make Nigeria more attractive to domestic and international investors.
In his contribution as a panelist, economist and banker, Mr. Atedo Peterside, noted that the nation was being held hostage by what he described as “rigged-properity” by a few elite.
According to him those in that class were less than 1 million people but they have improverished the multitudes of ordinary Nigerians.
Mr. Peterside regretted that based on data released by the National Bureau of statistics (NBS), at the end of 2015, 68 million Nigerians were in full employment but that as at end of 2020 the figure of Nigerians in full employment has fallen to a mere 31 million.
He lamented that very few Nigerians had access to the exchange rate at the official rate and those with such access did not represent the generality of Nigerians.
Mr. Peterside also condemned the fuel subsidy which has continued to put pressure on the nation’s fiscal position.
According to him, those who were involved in the massive oil theft were those in government or their cronies.
He wondered how many Nigerians had.the capacity to bring in ships into the country and load crude oil and take it away from the country, without the government stopping them.