By Ignatius Ushie
Strategic partnership between the three tiers of government, the private sector and civil society is critical in post-Covid-19 pandemic recovery and building a strong resilient economy, Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has said.
Osinbajo, stated this at the opening session of a two-day Inaugural Partnership Economy Summit, organized by the Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs in Abuja with the theme: Translating Global Goals Into Local Businesses in Nigeria.
Represented by Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, the Vice President said the Federal Government is committed to providing practical support to smaller companies at this critical time, hence the recent conclusion of the landmark $1 billion syndicated term loan through the Bank of Industry (BOI).
Osinbajo emphasized the need to ensure that the many policies of government positively influence the lives of people at the grassroots, stressing that the summit is timely.
According to him, “Strategic partnership between the three tiers of government, the private sector and civil society is critical to post-covid recovery and building a strong resilient economy”.
Also speaking during the event, Sen. George Akume, the Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, said the Summit seeks to garner the fundamentals of goals 1, 8, 9 and 17 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to build the solid sustainable framework of Partnership Economy in Nigeria.
According to the Minister, Partnership Economy Nigeria is a bold attempt to mobilise multi-stakeholders on a platform that generates synergy to promote wealth creation, diversification of the nation’s economy and generation of several million jobs.
“The platform is designed to harmonize the efforts of the three tiers of government towards supporting and facilitating the community-based Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (MSME) to start and grow value-addition businesses across all sectors at the council, ward level, in the bid to build our economy from the bottom to up” he added.
Akume noted that the summit being built on the foundation of the Sustainable Development Goals aims to consolidate the big idea of working together at the global, national, States and Local Governments levels.
Other Ministers including Chris Ngige, Labour and Employment; Dame Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, spoke on the need for driving inclusive growth through the grassroots empowerments.
Kayode Fayemi, Chairman of Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ekiti state assured of the support of the states for the anticipated strategic plan document and action plan at the end of this summit.
Amb. Anthonia Ekpa, Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, described the event as huge success considering the huge participation of stakeholders including the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo; Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President; Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives; Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, among others.
Ekpa expressed optimism that the outcome of the summit would produce a working document that will transform the nation’s economy.