What Nigeria Stands To Benefits From Hosting World Economic Forum..Okonjo Iweala

The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has stated that it was a great honour for Nigeria to be the first to host the forum in the West African sub-region, pointing out that the Nigerian economy accounts for 76 per cent of the economy of the entire Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
“We are honoured that Nigeria is hosting this forum which is being brought to West Africa for the first time. Nigeria is now the largest economy in Africa with a GDP of $510 billion as of 2013. The Nigerian economy is 76 per cent of the ECOWAS economy, 30 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa and 21 per cent of Africa’s economy. This is a substantial chunk.
“So it is meaningful that the meeting is held here and also the focus of the meeting is in line with efforts to ensure that we have inclusive growth in the country,” she said.
The event, with the theme “Forging Inclusive Growth, Creating Jobs”, she said, would dwell on issues on how best to ensure that jobs are created in Africa to help reduce inequality.
The minister gave some insight into other issues of focus at the event, including how to create skills and improve the service delivery of public workers.
Civil society groups, religious as well as private sector players, according to the minister, would fully participate and also proffer suggestions on how best government can direct its policies to bring about positive change in Africa.
On the benefits of the forum to the Nigerian economy, Okonjo-Iweala said Nigeria would benefit from various initiatives, including those to be unveiled during th
e event, adding: “There are specific things that will be of benefit to us as Nigeria with WEF being held here.
“Two initiatives are being launched by WEF and within that, we are going to see a new initiative of six schools being launched by the private sector in Nigeria. 
“Gordon Brown, UN Secretary General’s (Envoy) on Education, Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia Zenith Bank founder and Publisher of THISDAY Newspapers, Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, and a coaliation of business leaders across Nigeria are going to launch the safe schools initiative on Wednesday and this is geared towards the North-east and will directly benefit  our children, particularly our girls in North-east.”
“We also have the Grow Africa Initiative... They have been able to raise about $7 billion investments and about half of it will be coming to Nigeria and also the health care initiative designed to strengthen access to health care, most of which will be coming to Nigeria.
“A skills initiative is being launched by WEF and within that, we are going to see a new initiative of safe schools being launched by the private sector in Nigeria.”
The minister reiterated that the closure of public institutions during the period was necessitated by the quest to help ease traffic in the city, adding that such steps had been applied in other countries that hosted such global events.
“I can assure you that the delegates will be okay, the venue, hotels will be secure and the number of security personnel will be encouraging,’’ she reassured.
Okonjo-Iweala, who also commented on the country’s investment drive, said the Nigerian economy with positive macroeconomic indicators has continued to draw the interest of both local and foreign investors.
She noted that various government initiatives in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing, housing and solid minerals, among others would continue to generate investors’ interest.
She said two foreign investors – Unilever and Bloomberg – had indicated interest in investing $150 million and $250 million, respectively, adding: “Bloomberg wants to make Nigeria a logistics hub for Africa.”


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria


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