#NES22: Nigerian Economic Summit Calls for Concerted Efforts to Grow Tech and Innovation

“If made-in-Nigeria must succeed, it should not be the challenge of the federal government alone. All the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital territory (FCT) must have a role to play.” – Dr. Adedoyin Salami

The Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) summit which began on Monday and ended on Wednesday last week once again called on the need to diversify the Nigerian economy base away from oil.

The Chairman, Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) Board Committee on research and publication, Dr. Adedoyin Salami, made the call on Monday in Abuja at the opening of the 22nd edition of the Nigeria Economic Summit (NES 22).

Dr. Salami lamented that the country’s current economic indices were far from ideal and stressed the need to embrace the imperatives of local competitiveness and productiveness, as well as ability to create and add value to the economy.

With the dynamics of oil changing as a result of global forces and the recent development in shale oil exploration by some of Nigeria’s biggest crude destinations, the imperative to strengthen already known markets like agriculture, manufacturing and technology has become a front burner for the government.

The summit featured breakout sessions that covered ICT, Innovations, MSMEs, Services, Manufacturing, Agro Processing and the Creative Industry. Each session was geared at providing suggestions which would be presented by NESG to the government as way to drive each topic’s or sectors contribution to the Nigerian ‘Made in Nigeria’ policy.

The Inventors and Innovators breakout sessions recommended creating tech hubs like the Yabacon valley with needed infrastructure to cater for the teeming youths who have ideas. It stressed that the hubs should be spread across states in the country as a way to drive population traffic away from Lagos and to provide revenue opportunities for each state.

Recently, Kaduna launched its first incubation hub and may be leading the pace in state created hubs. The private sector was also tasked to join the drive for technology as government alone cannot and should not be involved with technological advancement in the country.

The session also proposed that an urgent visit to STEM be incorporated and promoted by the government as means to prepare students to partake in innovative endeavours and to develop passion for ICT and its spin offs. The vice president Prof. Yemi Osinbajo had earlier cited how animation could provide opportunities that youths can take up.

The vice president who heads the government’s team on job creation and employment mentioned that the government intends to employ close to 500,000 youths in teaching, agriculture, technology and that it would create more platforms like the Aso Villa Demo Day to support technological drive among youths.

The summit ended by offering strategies the government an employ. The summit suggested that government should create tech hubs in various states and that the hubs should have all necessary infrastructures to operate.

The summary document was presented to the president who was represented by Senator Udo Udoma, Minister for Budget and National Planning.

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