The Nigerian private sector met with government over the country’s economic policy.
Bukar Kiyari, chairman of Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), said this year’s theme of the 21st Summit, “Business Meets Government”, is quite apt since there has been a change in government and concerns about Nigeria’s competitiveness and economy as a whole.
“We have had growth of 7 per cent per annum for the last ten years until recently when we experienced a slump or slowdown, “said Kiyari. He said what needs to be taken into account is whether the growth rate was similar to employment growth and the answer is No.
Kiyari said, this means that the “dizzying” growth that Nigeria experienced was not carrying everyone along. “The consideration for inclusive growth needs to be at the backburner. Any economic policy should not just be going in and make us look like a banana republic where chronic capitalism is the solution, rather it should be inclusive and touch the lives of ordinary citizens.”
The Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) which have been recently launched expects to see the public sector and the private sector work in partnership. He said business in this partnership should aim to “leave the globe, better than they found it.”
The take away feedback from the Summit, has been a “resounding yes”, said Kiyari. The president was represented by the vice president, where he together with the private sector mapped out solutions to “do nothing, do something moderately or take a greater risk and do something that is out of the ordinary.”
Depending on key outcomes that are expected for the economy, Kiyari said they mapped out projections of the growth rate. “If we take the extremely aggressive one then we should in the next 18 to 24 months get back to that trajectory of 7.5 per cent growth whereas if we do the moderate we may be seeing 3 to 4 per cent growth rate and if we do nothing we will be caddying into recession.”
Kiyari said there are fears worse than recession which would be an economic slump and slashing of jobs, which he described as a “bloodbath”.