Minister tasks D8 countries on job creation, poverty reduction
D-8 has just recently held the 30th Session and 14th Council of Minister in Abuja, Nigeria

FOREIGN Affairs Minister of Nigeria, Olugbenga Ashiru, has said that the country, in its engagement with the rest of the world, will give priority to the kind of international cooperation that seeks to create jobs for citizens of member countries.

At the 14th session of the Group of Eight Developing countries (D8) council of ministers, which began yesterday in Abuja, Ashiru, in his first public pronouncement after assuming office, drew the attention of participating ministers and the secretariat to the Abuja Declaration of the council meeting of July last year that while the role of governments remains pivotal to economic growth, development within the group must essentially be private sector-driven.

“I share this vision with you today: we want to see that the private sector takes the lead while government will be looking at how best she can facilitate enabling environment for business to grow. Lets create jobs for our people,” the minister stressed.

The D8 is a group of developing countries with close to one billion population (over 970 million) that have formed an economic alliance.   The combined population of the countries is about 13 per cent of global population. Its members are Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey and Nigeria.

The group has a total workforce of about 385 million in strength with a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $2.88 trillion. It today holds many emerging markets across the continents.

Ashiru told the gathering that “only last week, at my confirmation hearing before the Nigerian Senate, I alluded to the need for my country to redirect its diplomacy in the service of national programmes to create jobs, reduce poverty and to support government’s efforts in the power sector and in food security, among national priorities.”

Speaking further through the Minister of State, Prof. Viola Adaku-Onwuliri, Ashiru said “it is against this backdrop that I see today (participation) as a happy coincidence and validation of my belief that whether as individual countries or as a group of like-minded nations, creative diplomacy can make substantial contributions to the national economic progress, prosperity and the well-being of citizens.”

He continued: “I see your presence here in Abuja today (yesterday) as a strong demonstration of the importance of the D8 model of development cooperation and also a reaffirmation of our collective commitment to strengthening the bonds of our friendships in the spirit of the Istanbul Declaration of 1977.”   Assuring members of Nigeria’s abiding commitment to the D8 principles on business in diplomacy, the minister said: “Let me seize the opportunity to assure you all that Nigeria will not waiver in its determination to make the private sector the engine of our development cooperation. Both as individual countries and as a group, our objective must always be to promote the efficient allocation of resources on the principle of comparative advantage.”

Giving a current assessment of the organisation’s programmes yesterday, the Secretary-General of the D8 Commission, Dr. Widi Pratikto, spoke of the need to continuously reform the group’s core objectives in such a way as to make it relevant for the economic empowerment of its citizens.

In March this year, the D8 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nigeria on aviation. Efforts are also being made to engender favourable response to the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with the involvement of the Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

The Foreign Minister of Bangladesh Dr. Dipu Moni, who spoke of new economic vistas in the D8 scheme said, “the D8 has the potential to take a pre-eminent position in the global economy, secure enhanced participation in the global decision-making process and achieve an improved standard of living for its people. In many of our countries, growth has been remarkable in the last few years.”

Source: The Guardian, Nigeria

You may also find photos related to the 30th Commission and 14th Council of Ministers from the link below

30th Session of Commission

14th Council of Ministers

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