OPINION: Reforming Nigeria’s Political Economy for growth and sustainable development

By Ekong Idongesit

The relatively slow pace of Nigeria’s development is sometimes attributed to the phenomenon of the resource curse whereby the nature of the state dilutes accountability for the product, and political actors are able to manipulate institutions to sustain poor governance. The impact of the political elite’s resource-control and allocation of revenues on core democratic mechanisms is central to understanding the developmental obstacles Nigeria faces.

The effective functioning of all parts of the economy, the development of Nigeria’s human capital and the security of lives and properties rely significantly on the will, competence of Nigeria’s leadership, and the effectiveness of its governance system and institutions. As a result, it is pertinent for stakeholders to identify the vulnerabilities of Nigeria’s political ecosystem to design a framework that ensures a healthy interplay of politics, governance and economic forces to achieve sustainable growth.

I believe the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit should particularly assess the current state of the economy, Nigeria’s economic vulnerabilities that perpetuate regression, poor performance and the risks associated with such susceptibilities as a means of enhancing a people-centred approach that will focus on economic, social, political and governance strategies targeted at reversing emerging trends and shape a secured future of inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

The Summit should also focus on galvanising a renewed commitment of the various stakeholders to urgently and actively prioritise the pursuit of economic growth that can sustainably create jobs, lift millions out of poverty and enable Nigeria to realise its economic potentials on the global stage. I also hope that the stakeholders will be able to Identify the vital imperatives of leveraging modern technology to accelerate significant improvements in the social, economic and security conditions of Nigeria, and agree on a compact at the end of discussions, that compels stakeholders to be critical and immediate actions and efficient monitoring mechanisms to ensure key recommendations at the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit are urgently implemented.

The public-private dialogue platform Nigerian Economic Summit (NES#1) was held from February 18-20, 1993. Participants at NES#1 concluded that it is imperative for the private sector to dialogue and cooperate with the public sector continuously. Over the past 27 years, national and global policymakers and business leaders have acknowledged that the annual NES is the premier platform for public-private dialogue in Nigeria.



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