Following a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on global competitiveness that saw Africa’s largest economy spiral down seven places to position 127 out of 144 economies, the West African country ratified a National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP). The seemingly low ranking was attributed to poor infrastructure and constitutional governance.
“First of all, I think we have got to appreciate that the report is kind of a score card of Nigeria based on Nigeria’s evaluation. It is important to get that clear because there are vibes that some people are being unfair and we [Nigerians] are not being judged properly,” Folusho Philips, chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group told CNBC Africa.
According to Nigeria’s Minister for National Planning Dr.Suleiman Olarewaju Abubakar, the master plan will see the acceleration of integrated infrastructure development in the country from 2014 to 2043 based on the country’s economic growth aspirations.
Philips added, “We have got to appreciate the fact that I believe there is a lot of working progress, our infrastructure has always been something that has been identified as a major issue and we know that we are trying to do something right and that is why I give the government credit in terms of looking at the national integration master plan which coincidentally was approved so we have got to deal with infrastructure.”
The NIIMP Bill will be presented to the National Assembly as an Executive Bill so as to provide an enabling legal framework for sustained implementation.
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“I would like to encourage people to take a look at this competitiveness report because when you look at the make-up and components of it, it actually deals with issues that relate to a sustainable growth as opposed to just say that we have a spike. How can we sustain growth of the economy? So the kind of things that are talked about is how we do the institutions in terms of policies and so on. How we deal with infrastructure, our macro environment, health and primary education and that is the first level that we need to get right,” said Philips.
The Global Competitiveness Report 2014-15 gages the competitiveness of 144 nations cantered on 12 pillars that include institutions, infrastructure, health and education, labour market efficiency, innovation among others.