New Telegraph

NECA Dialogue: ‘Nigeria must raise competent leaders to attain growth’

As Nigerians from all walks of life agitate for the country’s rebirth, economic experts have advised the government to subdue all traces of challenges militating against growth. The experts, drawn from both public and private sectors, who gathered during the National Economic Dialogue organised by Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), said for the country to experience growth, it must raise competent leaders, tackle corruption and put in place investment friendly policies. At the Dialogue themed: “Promotion of a Novel Approach to Policy Design, Implementation, and Mentoring in 2023,” they noted that as the country prepares for general elections in 2023, there was need for selfless and competent leader that will proffer solutions to the high level of corruption and poverty.

While identifying corruption, poverty, brain drain, slow policies, inequality, and bad politics amongst others as challenges confronting the nation, which call for urgent attention of the new administration, the Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise (CPPE) Dr. Muda Yusuf, said the new administration must appoint people with good quality to drive the affairs of government. Acknowledging that corruption was curable, he said with stringent punishment in place and the next administration developing the political will, the country would be rid of corruption.

Acvording to him, “corruption thrives in a society where there are no consequences for such action. Policies also make it thrive. We must have a system that prevents corruption, not the one that changes currency when the money has been stolen.” On his part, the Managing Director of BusinessDay Media Limited, Dr. Ogho Okiti, lamented the impact of slow policy and bad politics on the country.

He said: “We have been on the issue of whether to remove fuel subsidies over the years and nothing is done till now. Policy adjustment is slow because our politics is not right.” Corroborating others, a fiscal policy partner and Africa Tax Leader (PwC), Mr. Taiwo Oyedele, identified poor policies as Nigeria’s major challenge militating against viable economy, saying “if you design a policy without proper implementation and monitoring, it will not work.” The stakeholders also called on NECA to build institutional capacity and sponsor a law to institutionalise the organised private sector (OPS) and make it a voice in government.

The keynote speaker, a professor of Economics at Lagos Business School, Prof. Bongo Adi, lamented the high level of poverty and inequality in the country. According to him, no country can transit from poverty without diversification, and with the high level of corruption, it will be difficult for the nation to eradicate poverty. Prof. Adi, who spoke on the topic, “Rethinking Developmental State Paradigm,” said recommended structuring highlighting the shift from manufacturing to the knowledge and service sectors (new economy) driven by knowledge and innovation, expansion of human capabilities, and spread of information with investment in education, health, and legal infrastructure.

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