The Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, said the Nigerian economy must grow by at least three per cent for the population to significantly enjoy the benefits associated with economic growth.
He said so during a press conference on the 24th edition of the Nigerian Economic Summit.
The summit, scheduled for 22-23 October in Abuja, focuses on “Poverty to Prosperity: Making Governance and Institutions Work”.
Udoma, while answering the question of why Nigerians haven’t felt the impact of economic growth despite the country’s recession, said the population, growing by an average of 3 per cent, had made it challenging for the Gross Domestic Product growth rate to be inclusive.
According to him, since the exit of the country’s recession, the growth rate has not exceeded the rate of population growth.
The Nigerian economy grew 1.5% in the second quarter of this year, compared with a growth rate of 1.95% in the first quarter.
Udoma stated, “You will recall that in the second quarter, the GDP growth rate was 1.5 per cent, which was lower than as expected. We have a lot more work to do, because our population is growing at about three per cent, and unless we are growing at more than four or five per cent, we will not be able to feel the impact.
“And that is why we have to work even harder to get the growth at the level at which we wanted, and that is basically why we have to work so hard and we cannot be complacent.”
Speaking at the summit, the minister said discussions will focus on five key thematic areas.
These are corruption and the rule of law; effective public institutions; sustainable economic opportunities; Human Development; and citizen participation and rights.
Udoma said, “This year’s summit is designed to accelerate progress towards the implementation of the governance component of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
“The ultimate goal is to stimulate discussions on accelerating the implementation of the ERGP strategies on governance in order to enhance the social welfare of the Nigerian people.”
The Nigerian Economic Summit is organised annually by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group in collaboration with the Federal Government, represented by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.
It is a forum for dialogue among top policymakers and corporate leaders.
It brings together government officials, representatives of the private sector, development partners, the civil society and some members of the academia to reflect on issues constraining national development, with the aim of building consensus so as to evolve common strategies and policy frameworks for addressing the issues.
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