By Afolabi Oyekunle.
In its desire to help provide direction for the Nigeria economy and find a solution, the Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) put together in Lagos a one day national economic dialogue where key economic speakers spoke on what they believe is wrong and the way out.
With the theme: “Promoting a Novel Approach to Policy Design Implementation and Monitoring in 2023” the Speakers believe inconsistent economic policies and implementation strategies constitute bane to national development.
Chief Executive Officer, Centre for the promotion of Private Enterprises (CCPPE) Dr. Musa Yusuff called for the review of existing economic policies and create an enabling business environment as good policies environment are critical for nation’s growth. He said corruption thrives in an environment where there are no consequences, adding that policy environment needs to be right to ensure the nation is not celebrating corruption.
In his contribution, another economic expert, Fiscal Policy Partner and Africa Tax Leader, Taiwo Oyedele said nothing much will change in 2023 as the country has fundamental problems which include policies implementation. He said Nigeria problem has nothing to do with money, but in the implementation of policies.
According to him, inconsistent policies is driving the country backwards” You are fighting corruption daily and yet introducing policies that increase poverty “
He urged NECA to build institutional capacity and strengthen advocacy for the private sector to have a voice in economic decisions within government. He said the private sector must have the ears of the government towards ensuring that policies are not against their interest
In his contribution, Managing Director of Business Day, Dr. Ogbo Okiti criticised the slow making and implementation of policies which he said are very very slow. Giving example, he said the country has been on fuel subsidy policy for many years, state police and petroleum act without tangible direction. He believes the country should not be rigid in policies formulation and implementation and should adjust as time and needs demand.
In his lead paper presentation, Professor Bongo Adi of the Lagos Business School (LBS) said challenges facing the country are not about policies but how to grow institutional capabilities to pursue policies.
He enumerated that Nigeria has formulated so many policies to better the lives of the people such as Better Life for Rural Women, MAMSER, NEEDS and programs on poverty eradication, yet poverty continues to ravage the people.
Professor Adi said the country has the problems of poverty and brain drain and the two policies undermine any state policy. He lamented that the best of the country brains are leaving the country everyday, and if the trends continue, the country will lack credible people to implement policies.
Professor Adi said the country has structures but lack good implementation. “Our problems is not because of absence of policies but the challenge of implementation.” He called for the growth of human capabilities to grow the country’s policies.
He said in such situation, no macro economic measures will solve the country’s problems and challenged the government to stop the exodus of Nigeria’s best by ensuring good policies that will better the lives of Nigerians. He said policies are like softwares that need constant update as things change.
Director General of NECA, Adewale Smart OOyerinde said a policy document would be put in place for effective advocacy to guide the incoming administration.