Stakeholders at the recently held Development Policy Seminar organized by African Institute for Applied Economics (AIAE) now African Heritage Institution (AfriHeritage) has called on African governments to promote activist industrial policies and markets for home based industries in order to engender growth that can create jobs that will lead to inclusive growth.
The theme of the seminar held on February 14, 2013 at the Institute’s Conference Hall was “Pro Poor Growth and Poverty Reduction in Nigeria and Africa”. The seminar used to disseminate the study funded by African Economic Research Consortium was undertaken by Dr. Chukwuma Agu, Dr. Hyacinth Ichoku and Dr. John Ataguba
Earlier, the Executive Director of the Institute, Dr Ifediora Amobi, said that the critical mass of researchers and professionals of the Institute would continue to undertake research and programmes that would inform and influence policies towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals and the Vision 20-20-20. Dr. Amobi said that plans were underway to establish centres for each programme of the institute in order to attain the institute's goals of economic development and poverty reduction, adding that the institute is to promote rapid and broad-based economic development in Nigeria and Africa.
The forum observed that the paradox of high growth coexisting with rising poverty, with Nigeria growing consistently at more than 5 percent for nearly a decade. But some other countries like China that have had high growth, the Nigerian economy remains undiversified with high poverty and unemployment.
It also observed that in addition to worsening poverty, there are huge geo-political disparities in poverty, with the regions in the North disproportionately worse off than regions in the South and that Sector of employment is both important for individual poverty reduction and for overall inclusiveness of output growth in the country. For example, despite the gains in growth in agriculture, poverty remains very high among employees in the sector
Part of the recommendations at the seminar include; the need for the Federal Government of Nigeria to entrench rule-based fiscal system, the group noted that there is need to re-evaluate the emphasis on oil revenue at all levels of government budget in order to improve non-oil investment and output and reduce the dependence on just one commodity. The forum commended government for the pro-poor agricultural programmes at all levels, and recommended the need for more emphasis on agriculture with clear industrial policies and programmes in a manner that creates complementarities between the sectors.