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At Aregbesola’s colloquium, El-Rufai, Bagudu, Rewane, others proffer solutions to poverty

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For Nigeria to join the league of rich countries of the world, it must invest aggressively in technology, improve local production, widen the tax net and invest in duty collection and cut cost of governance.

These were some of the proposals offered by experts at the weekend during the yearly Rauf Aregbesola colloquium titled “Government Unusual: Innovative economic solutions to unlock mass prosperity” in Lagos.

The discussants at the virtual event included Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State; his Kebbi counterpart, Abubakar Bagudu; Statistician-General/CEO of the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Yemi Kale; chairman of Citibank Nigeria, Yemi Cardoso; CEO of Financial Derivatives Limited, Bismarck Rewane; CEO of Lotus Capital, Hajarah Adeola, and Country Director of DAI, Dr. Joe Abah.

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They maintained that there must be an alternative route to enriching the masses, using viable methods.

Specifically, El-Rufai who spoke on “Insights, examples and experience for mass prosperity”, said there was need to redefine the role of government and its interventions.

He observed that investment in digital technology must be prioritised for Africa to join the comity of developed continents.

For Rewane, “Osun is one of the states with the lowest poverty, unemployment rate and misery index. The state also has one of the highest WAEC pass rates meanwhile, it still underperforms its peers in the South West in terms of GDP and IGR while maintaining low unemployment and poverty rates.”

To Kale, “Nigeria remains Africa’s largest economy, but (its) per capita income is rather low for a country of this size, and the level of poverty presents a major development challenge.

“ The recently released poverty data reveal policy and relevant insights to inform interventions aimed at resolving the poverty situation in the country, particularly at sub-national level.”

The participants therefore called on the three tiers of government to develop greater capacity for public-private partnerships, focus on their competitive advantages, raise productive capacities, invest productively as well as design appropriate tax systems to extract revenue from economic activities and produce a roadmap with key elements of a strategy for the nation to return to faster, more sustainable and more inclusive growth that is consistent with its comparative edge.

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