From Isaac Anumihe, Abuja
As part of efforts to decongest Nigerian ports and end the intractable gridlock along the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway in Lagos, the Federal Government has ordered the relevant authorities to ensure that all rail lines terminate at the ports.
Speaking during a press briefing to kickstart the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit (#27NES) in Abuja, the Minister of State for Finance Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, said the focus of the government is on the rail and by the time that is realised there will be less pressure on the roads.
According to the minister, this year’s summit is aimed at assessing the current state of the Nigerian economy and foster a people-centred approach to refocus the economic, social and political challenges.
It is also going to galvanise a renewed commitment of stakeholders to urgently and actively prioritise the pursuit of economic growth that can sustainably create jobs, lift millions out of poverty and enable Nigeria to realise its economic potentials on the global stage.
It will equally compel stakeholders and the government to take critical and immediate actions and institute an efficient monitoring mechanism to ensure that key recommendations at the NES #27 are implemented.
‘You will recall that the NES#22 was focused on “Made in Nigeria” and we all agreed that to move the nation forward, we need to have a paradigm shift from an import-dependent and consumption economy to an economy that is self-sufficient in local production and export. As Mr President says ‘we produce what we eat and eat what we produce,’ he said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of Nigerian Economic Summit (NES #27), Mr Asue Ighodalo, regretted that the 27th Economic Summit slated for October 25, 2021, is coming when the nation is facing huge economic woes which include, currency devaluation, foreign exchange shortages, trade imbalances, budget deficits, mounting debts, high inflation especially food inflation and food insecurity.
Other economic weaknesses, he noted, include low manufacturing capacity, port inaccessibility, delays and high costs of moving goods and machinery through the ports.