With the global economy still battling with the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with eye opening protests by frustrated youths in Nigeria, the 2020 edition of the annual WorldStage Economic Summit is set to hold virtually on November 10 by 10.30AM (West Africa time) to discuss how economic diversification can help meet the yearnings of the youths and other stakeholders in the country.
According to a statement by WorldStage, the organizers, keynote speakers at the summit will include Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, Nigeria; Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, Nigeria; and Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Communications Commission.
The experts who will discuss the theme of the summit ‘New Reality: Consolidating Economic Diversification’ include Abiola Rasaq, Head, Corporate Strategy, Central Securities Clearing System, Lagos, Nigeria; Dr Joy Ofinjite Ogaji, Pioneer Executive Secretary of the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC); Nosa Omorodion, Director, National Companies & Independents; Schlumberger Companies Nigeria and West Africa; and Dr Ayodele Shittu, Economics, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Coach, Department of Economics, University of Lagos.
Interested stakeholders across the world are expected to register freely through the Zoom Registration Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcvceiprjMpHNQiVYFLXxEPfTEXwW9T-izt for them to participate in the summit.
President/CEO, World Stage Limited, Segun Adeleye said the theme of the WES 2020 is timely as the twin challenges of COVID- 19 and EndSARS protests across Nigeria have exposed the fragility of our peaceful coexistence as the youths have been limited to hopelessness.
He said economic diversification is the key to address youth unemployment which could be linked to the frustration that sparked off the latest protests.
“The lesson learnt from EndSARS protests by the youth demands rapid action on the part of the business and political leaders to open up opportunities through economic diversification,” he said.
With the non-oil sector contributing 91.07% to Nigeria’s total GDP in Q2-2020 compared with 8.93% from crude oil, one may not be wrong to say that the economy is already diversified. But there is an anomaly in the reality that the oil sector is responsible for 95% of foreign exchange earnings.
Since oil was discovered in Nigeria in 1956 at Oloibiri in the Niger Delta after half a century of exploration, there is still a wide gap between the exploration and integration into the economy to reflect an appreciable contribution to employment and the GDP, while the non-oil sector has not stepped up to become competitive, break into the global market and attract commensurate quantity of foreign exchange to strengthen the Naira and attract foreign investment.
With Nigeria accounting for over 51% of West Africa’s population of 403,303,318 as at August, 2020 (United Nations estimates), its products- services, agriculture, and industries can dominate the sub- region if well packaged and delivered to bring in the much needed foreign exchange.
The focus of the WorldStage Economic Summit 2020 will be to access the economic diversification journey and proffer solutions on the way to fast track industrialization.
Specifically, economic and political leaders will revisit the issues of: Ease of doing business; policy instruments, infrastructural advancement (power, transportation, others), banking and cashless economy, education and skill, regional/global outlook, macroeconomic policies, boosting agriculture and agricultural value chains, strengthening manufacturing sector, credit and venture capital, minerals exploration, blue economy, innovation and destructive technology, human capital advancement, and Corporate governance/anti corruption.