On September 23, 2013, the chairman of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Foluso Phillips, and the director-general, Frank Nweke Jr., attended the second meeting of the Presidential Eminent Persons Group on Nigeria’s Agriculture, which held at the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan, New York.
During the meeting, Phillips presented recommendations of the recently concluded 19th Nigerian Economic Summit (NES 19), which held in Abuja from September 3 – 5, with the theme “Growing Agriculture as a Business to Diversify Nigeria’s Economy.”
According to him, it was recommended at the Summit that a more holistic approach be taken towards the development of the agricultural sector in Nigeria; also that more needed to be done to “connect the dots” in relation to ICT, infrastructure, R&D, financing and public-private partnerships if Nigeria is truly to become a global agricultural power house.
Actionable priorities identified as the critical next steps and outcomes of NES 19 as contained in the Chairman’s presentation included: the provision of legislative backing for key components of the Agricultural Transformation Agenda (ATA); building the capacity of MDAs to understand, own and implement the ATA; accelerating the implementation of Staple Crop Processing Zones; privatising the existing commodities exchange and expanding the size/sustainability of the Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme.
Eminent persons at the meeting included: President Goodluck Jonathan; President of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Bill Gates; president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Kanayo Nwanze; former secretary general, United Nations, Kofi Annan; Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State; minister of petroleum resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke as well as the minister of agricultural and rural development, Akinwunmi Adesina.