On October 24, 2008, the 14th Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) summit ended in
The NESG claimed that
According to the Group, “we must confront our realities with courage and embrace our possibilities with imaginative ideas, innovations, and action.” Here are more declarations and recommendations:
1. The Federal Government should “Walk-the-Talk” in support the goals of Vision 2020.
2. The Federal Government should reinstate the reform plan that aimed at 100 percent enrollment in basic education by 2012.
3. The Federal Government should significantly increase public and private sector investment in vocational and technical education.
4. The Federal Government should encourage public and private investment in youth empowerment programs.
5. NESG recommends a comprehensive system approach to economic growth and national development.
6. NESG recommends a change in mindset at all levels of government.
7. NESG recommends that Government should restore confidence in all Nigerians by helping to change their mindsets.
8. NESG recommends a speedy and effective implementation of the recommendations of the Niger Delta Technical Committee.
9. NESG recommends that the Minister of the Niger Delta be empowered to bring visible changes in the lives of the people.
10. NESG recommends raising the size of the national economy from about $170bn to $900bn by 2020.
How prepared are the people in race to Vision 2020? How ready are they for the marathon race? The participants in the race must confident, ready, matured, strong and willing to endure the hardship that are associated with running a marathon. I am reminded of my days as a professional tennis athlete competing against the best in the tennis world. I lacked the tennis infrastructures such as power, energy, transportation, managerial and technical assistance critically needed to support my efforts to win tennis games. Other factors too hindered my efforts.
The Nigeria Economic Summit Group has provided yet another forum for authentic conversations about the future. The long term dialogue about political and economic change must begin in schools. The curriculum must reflect this change in direction. To change a collective mindset of a nation, something has to give. What is the opportunity cost? The Nigerian people will be willing to support the goals, aspirations and expectations, if the process is genuine and inclusive. Many people are often left out of the process of development in