The Senior Resident Representative and Mission Chief for Nigeria Africa Department, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Amine Mati has called on the federal government to begin the in earnest the implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) in order to achieve a higher economic growth this year.
Sitting from left: John Carnaham, Debra Carnahan, Sam Nda-Isaiah, Christopher Shays and Amine Mati at the session yesterday.
Mati who was speaking during the International Conference of Social Sciences organised by the Nile University of Nigeria in Abuja yesterday stated that the federal government though have done pretty well in some areas needed to start putting the plans in place so as to achieve a higher growth than the 0.8 per cent observed last year and some challenges still confronting poverty reduction strategies in Nigeria were identified to include corruption, ethno-religious conflicts, income inequality, political instability and other severe problems .
“For Nigeria to grow, the government has to start the implementation of its ERGP. There are several priorities like increasing revenue growth from 5 to 15 per cent, having unified exchange rate, addressing the structural gap, strengthening the anti corruption effort and others. We need to act on all of these at the same time so as to achieve growth higher than last years, issues of ethno-religious conflicts can never be over-emphasized and needed to be handled diplomatically” he said.
He made this notes at the brainstorming session under the theme, Emerging Trends and Development in Africa, one of the speakers and United State Ambassador to Denmark, Richard Swett described the 21st century as the African century, urged for collaboration between Nigeria and other African countries which he said will help bring growth in the continent.
Speaker and former representative of United State House, Christopher Shays, on his own contribution, spoke on the need for Nigeria to stop its over dependence on oil adding that the battle ranging in the world, including United States was a battle between democracy and dictatorship which he said every country must ensure that democracy wins.
Reacting, the moderator of the event and chairman of Leadership Group Limited, Sam Nda-isaiah stated that democracy that produced Donald Trump as president has failed and spoke on the need for strong leaders in the world who has the good of their citizens at heart.
Also speaking, Debra Carnahan, a United States Retired Judge, said that for Nigeria to grow as a country there was need for independent and impartial judges who can do their jobs without any interference from the executive.
While calling for support for African women in politics and other fields, Carnahan stated that Africa with its population and resources has a lot to offer in the development of the world.
Another speaker, and a former representative in the United State House, John Carnaham added that for Africa to move forward, emphasis must be on the importance of education as an educated citizens would be able to asks questions where things go wrong.
He also spoke on the need for Nigeria to use hr power of its diversity, not to bring disparity but to work together towards a common goal of achieving growth for the nation.
In his good will message, the Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, urged Nigerians to become political and social active and make demands from their state governors who he said has the bulk of the responsibility to cater for them.
He added that government was targeting education and curriculum of the university system to ensure that graduates come out from the universities as employer of labours.
“On youth development and unemployment in the country, he said the government is working on target education and the review of curriculum of the entire university system, and our intention is that 70 percent of students after school should be able to employ themselves, get started in something, so that we don’t train you to have certificate, we train you to have skills, have education that you come out and practice and earn a living and be an entrepreneur,” he said.
Earlier while declaring the event open, the Vice Chancellor of the school, Prof Huseyin Sert stated that the event, which was its fourth, was aimed at leading its students to focus on graduating into great leaders that would bring about development to not just Nigeria but the world.
The event also had on display products at its Entrepreneurship Trade Fair, aimed at imbibing in the students the spirit of entrepreneurship.