The Guardian
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Leeway to sustainable economic growth, by stakeholders


THE need to hold the government and public officials responsible for economic stability of the country was again brought to the fore as stakeholders converged on Tuesday in Lagos to chart path to national growth amid the prevailing political intrigues.

  The stakeholders, who were brought together by the State Accountability and Voice Initiative (SAVI) included the leadership of Lagos State House of Assembly, the executives, the media and civil society organisations.

   They expressed concerns about the mono-product profile of the economy, which they said would have grave consequences, on the nation, especially at a time when the prices of crude oil have been sliding at the international market.

  Besides, the participants noted that the nation’s over-dependence on crude oil earning may not be sustained in the future due to the emergence of alternative energy sources such as renewables, shale oil and nuclear among others.

   The strategist at SAVI and a facilitator, Ishaya Bajama, said it has become worrisome that Nigerian economy remains largely dependent on oil and the signals from the international oil market showed that the nation would suffer reduced income, which may lead to rationalization, retrenchments and salary cuts, hence the need for economic diversification.

  He therefore advocated for good governance that would be able to identify the needs of the society and provide the necessary facilities.

  Besides, he urged the media, the civil society organisations and the government on relationship management for citizen driven development.

   He enjoined the media to investigate and report issues with independent mind, without any regards for interference from any quarters, adding that journalists are expected to ask the right questions, investigate and highly analytical in addressing issues.

  Bajama also tasked the civil society organisations to remodel their strategies towards citizen’s enlightenment, education and advocate for good management of national resources. 

  He however expected the legislators to always carry out critical evaluation of budgets presented by the executive arm of government and ensure that the provisions in the budget are implemented to the benefit of the populace.

  As the nation prepares to usher in a new political dispensation, he said: “We are looking for politicians that can create an architecture of an economy that would promote the wellbeing of the citizenry. The stakeholders should put up strict measure to checkmate the politicians from mis-managing the national treasury.

The State Team Leader, SAVI, Felix Obanubi, however described the objectives of the organization as to appreciate the relationship and changes in functionality; to identify opportunities for complementarity and transitional relationships; to identify gaps and opportunities for pre-planning work by stakeholders.

  He also noted that the forum helps to understand the stakeholders and their collective responsibilities as citizens and to enhance strategic engagement.




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